Report: Apple is still planning a March event to announce new products

Rumor has it those products include an iPhone SE 2 and an updated iPad Pro.

San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images/Hearst Newspapers/Getty Images

Apple is still on track to announce new devices at an event next month, despite the company’s sales and operations being hit hard by COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus). One of the planned devices is a low-cost iPhone that’s rumored to be a follow-up to 2016’s iPhone SE. The other is a new iPad Pro model with a refreshed camera system.

Plans could still change — The rumors around the iPhone SE 2 and the updated iPad Pro are very preliminary. Bloomberg reports that sources familiar with the matter say the event could still be delayed or canceled if COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on Apple’s manufacturing processes. According to the same sources, the new iPad Pro, in particular, could launch later than expected.

Too late for Apple’s sales — While the rumored Apple event for next month would be good to boost Apple hype for the middle of 2020, the company is still staring down massive production chain issues caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Apple stores in China are running out of products, and many have shut down. iPhone supplies around the world are dwindling, and this is sure to affect Apple’s sales for the foreseeable future.

Reliance on China is proving problematic — The issues Apple is facing are inextricably linked to its massive reliance on Chinese labor for production. Though COVID-19 is a worldwide problem, the outbreak’s worst effects still center on China, and much of the world has set up operations in China to lower operational overhead. Apple’s operations in China are even larger than most — and this dependence is proving to be the company’s biggest weakness as the decade opens.