Cheap iPhone 9 could be delayed by two MONTHS as coronavirus crisis threatens Apple's 'March 31 launch'

APPLE'S 2020 iPhone models could be delayed as the firm reportedly loses "two months" of production time due to the coronavirus crisis.

The tragic outbreak is causing chaos for the factories and suppliers used by Apple in China.

It's been widely rumoured that Apple is preparing a "cheap" $399/£399 iPhone.

This gadget is expected to launch at an unconfirmed event on March 31, but Apple hasn't revealed any such plans.

But major Apple suppliers based in China – including Foxconn – have been forced to scale back and even shut down operations due to the coronavirus.

Now experts are warning of delays to upcoming iPhone models that last weeks or months.

Top industry insider Dan Ives told The Sun that these delays are likely to be significant.

"The timing likely pushes out 4-6 weeks from the anticipated March launch date due to the damaged supply chain," Dan, an expert analyst at Wedbush Securities, explained.

And speaking to Reuters, one exec at a smartphone parts supplier said: "There is no face-to-face work being done.

"And the word is, that's probably not going to change for another month at best.

"You're really talking about two lost months, which in the consumer electronics cycle is huge."

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus is an airborne virus, spread in a similar way to colds and the flu.

The virus attacks the respiratory system, causing lung lesions.

Symptoms include a runny nose, headache, cough and fever, shortness of breath, chills and body aches.

It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include a runny nose, headache, cough and fever, shortness of breath, chills and body aches.

In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as rhinovirus.

But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract (your windpipe and your lungs), it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems.

There is no vaccine for coronavirus.

In 2003 an outbreak of a similar virus, SARS, infected more than 8,000 people in 37 countries before it was brought under control, killing 800 of those worldwide.

These delays are expected to affect both the rumoured iPhone 9, and potentially even Apple's annual September iPhone release.

However, the coronavirus situation is still extremely unpredictable, especially in China where the outbreak is relatively widespread.

The coronavirus is believed to have originated in China's Hubei province.

That's near to the Henan and Guandong provinces, which are home to major Apple suppliers.

More than 2,000 cases of coronavirus have been recorded in those provinces alone.

The current infection rate stands at more than 80,000, the overwhelming majority of which are in China.

But the number of infections in western countries has risen in recent weeks, including in the UK and US.

Apple chief Tim Cook recently warned that the firm was expected supply delays and shortages.

But Apple hasn't officially said that upcoming iPhone models will be pushed back.

It's possible Apple may still make an announcement on March 31, but the rumoured iPhone 9's actual release may come some time later.

We've asked Apple for comment and will update this story with any response.

In other news, your iPhone gets slower and loses battery life if you always swipe your apps closed.

Putting your wet iPhone in rice won't fix it.

And this genius iPhone trick loved by mums lets you "lock" the touchscreen.

Are you worried about the coronavirus crisis? Let us know in the comments!

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