Apple Stock Flattens After Report Of Virus-Related Delay In IPhone 12 Production

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Vogel/AP/Shutterstock (6104419a) Shoppers walk by the Apple Store along the the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif. Apple Inc. reports quarterly financial results on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 Earns Apple, Santa Monica, USA

Apple shares moved sideways in early trading Monday after a report in the Wall Street Journal said production of new fall models of its flagship iPhone will be delayed by a month due to COVID-19.

The newest iteration of the handset, unofficially dubbed the iPhone 12, will feature select 5G features. Apple is going to move forward with releasing the phone despite the production headwinds, the Journal reported. The tech giant did not immediately respond to Deadline’s request for comment.

Shares in Apple were down a fraction at $281.64 as the majority of media and tech issues enjoyed an upbeat start to the week’s trading. The company’s stock has held up reasonably well during the pandemic, trading near the $300 mark where it began 2020.

The usual sequence of events for Apple is a ramp-up of production of new models during the summer, an announcement of details to the public in September, and retail sales of new phones later in the fall. Manufacturing in Asia, which is where the global pandemic began, is early in its recovery phase.

In a recent virtual town hall meeting with employees, CEO Tim Cook described the onset of COVID-19 as a “stressful moment,” but emphasized the company’s sound financial condition.

Apple will report its quarterly earnings on Thursday, along with Amazon and Twitter. Facebook and Google parent Alphabet are putting out their quarterly numbers on Wednesday as the market looks for patches of blue sky amid the coronavirus gloom. While physical production and retail have hampered the operations of some tech companies, their core operations have gained traction during lockdowns prompted by the virus.

Due to factors like the shifting economic model of wireless plans and phone purchases, Apple has been moving to diversify its revenue after sales of the iPhone started to fade after more than a decade of growth. It is more focused on its Services segment, which includes revenue from app and music downloads, payments and news and videogame offerings.

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