Cheap iPhone 'delayed by MONTHS' as coronavirus means March release date will be missed, insiders warn

A CHEAP new iPhone rumoured to launch at the end of March could be delayed by months, insiders have warned.

The so-called iPhone 9 is expected to cost just $399/£399 – but its release could be hampered by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Apple hasn't confirmed the iPhone 9's existence, but rumours about a March 31 launch have been circulating for weeks.

Industry insiders have repeatedly predicted that the handset will give buyers on a budget the opportunity to own a new iPhone.

But Apple uses Chinese factories for iPhone parts and assembly, and the coronavirus outbreak is causing chaos for these suppliers.

Now the Bank of America has warned that the new iPhone 9 will likely be delayed "by a few months".

The note, seen by Bloomberg, warns of delays that could mean we won't see the iPhone 9 until June or July.

Insiders blame "both supply issues as well as the weaker demand environment from COVID-19".

It's possible that the device may still be announced on March 31, but that the phone won't be released for a while.

Alternatively, the phone could still launch in stores on time – but with stock shortages.

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.

In any case, we do know that Apple's business is being impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

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.

This week, we saw reports of Apple warning staff members about a shortage of replacement iPhone units.

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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