Mr Kourouche says that he is always on the edge of his seat each time a new Apple device is out since the release of iPhone 7. He attributes this to the hype around the release of the products as well as the products’ resale value. Still, Australia is usually the first country to access Apple devices. He shares that many people are usually curious about the devices.
Mr Kourouche, an iOS software developer at Apple, says many people flock to Australia to get the iPhone. People travel from overseas since people in Australia are the first to get the iPhone given Australia’s time zone. On the launch day of an iPhone, Apple stores here are the first to let in buyers.
This may not be the case this year. Apple has shut down its shops worldwide due to the coronavirus outbreak. Many other retailers have also closed their shops. However, it is really early to tell if the shops will be back open before Autumn. This will be perfect timing since they’ll be launching new devices.
The situation in some countries is disheartening. The UK government, for instance, said it may take three to six months for the resumption of normalcy. This implies that it may even take six months for non-essential shops to reopen.
For Apple, its iPhone 12 is awaiting release. This is a notably special phone since it uses 5G technology. It is the first iPhone to adopt this technology. 5G technology facilitates the connection of phones with faster networks on business fibre broadband. Sources have informed Nikkei, a Japanese publication, that Apple is considering a delay to the iPhone 12’s launch. This delay may also apply to manufacturers of phones using the Android operating system such as Samsung and other competitors.
Razat Gaurav explains that there has been tremendous disruption to the supply chain of existing devices. This has been caused by the effects of the pandemic in China. He continues to point out that China manufactures around 70% of the world’s smartphones. He is the chief executive of a supply chain analytics company: Llamasoft.
Most smartphone companies depend on components manufactured in South Korea and China. These two countries have been severely impacted by the pandemic. The city of Daegu is the most impacted in South Korea. It is only 20 minutes from the region that produces lots of those components.
Emile Naus states that the software is the most important part of any phone, not the hardware. He is a partner at consultancy BearingPoint. He explains that the software can be developed remotely. However, device testing may be difficult in a remote setting.
He adds that it may be difficult for people to take phone prototypes to their homes for testing. The industry places high levels of security on these prototypes. This concept will be very hard for the industry to adapt to. Emile concludes by saying there is a lot of secrecy involved in the development. Shipping has also been affected by the outbreak. It may be harder to get components and materials to assembly plants since flights have been grounded. Delays have also been witnessed with ocean freight. This may affect when the finished product gets to retail outlets.
Notwithstanding, Forrester doesn’t expect any significant price changes for new devices due to these shortcomings. Instead, we may witness the prices of older models drop. This may support new entrants in the market that are pricey. Phone prices may not drop any time soon. However, if there is no demand for phones during this pandemic, new strategies will have to be developed.