Apple live-streamed its ‘Time Flies’ event around the globe on Tuesday – but the company’s star product, the iPhone, was missing.
It marked the first time the iPhone hadn’t featured at one of the tech giant’s trademark September launch events.
Instead, the firm released gadgets including a new Apple Watch Series 6 that monitors blood oxygen, and new subscription services including Fitness+, which will deliver virtual workouts for $10 a month.
So where was the iPhone?
Apple had previously hinted that this year’s phone might be delayed, following a series of reports about disruption, related to the COVID-19 pandemic, in its Chinese supply chain.
Apple’s chief financial officer Luca Maestri suggested during an earnings call earlier this year that the 2020 handsets might be delayed.
Maestri said: “As you know, the last year we started selling new iPhones in late September. This year, we project supply to be available a few weeks later.”
A report by the Wall Street Journal suggested that Apple will release four new iPhones this year, armed with 5G connectivity for faster internet access.
The report suggested that the company will slash the number of handsets that it plans to make in the second half of this year by as much as 20%.
The Nikkei had reported in late March that Apple was preparing to possibly delay the launch of its first 5G iPhones.
The delay comes in the wake of coronavirus-related shutdowns in Apple factories, the WSJ reported.
Apple’s biggest iPhone plant was hit by restrictions placed on Chinese workers due to the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year.
On Tuesday, Apple also introduced a lower-cost Apple Watch SE, priced at $279 in the US market.
Among the other products on show was an Apple One subscription, costing $15 per month for television, music and games.
Apple is also offering a premier bundle for $30 per month that adds news, the fitness service and more storage.
Shares of exercise stationary bike maker Peloton, which also has a subscription service, lost and then recovered some gains after Apple’s announcement and were up about 6% in afternoon trade.
Elsewhere, Apple added a faster chip to its base model iPad.
The new iPad Air will cost $599 and look more like the iPad Pro models, and a new A14 processor chip that Apple said would be the first to use a five-nanometer chip manufacturing process.
Apple shares have soared this year even as the virus has crippled economies around the world, thanks in large part to booming sales of work-from-home items.
Apple shares were up 2% on Tuesday after climbing more than 50% for the year, well ahead of the 23% gain for the Nasdaq. Even though Apple stock has fallen from a record high earlier this month, it remains near its $2 trillion stock market valuation.