Apple was again tipped to be planning to delay mass production of iPhone models set for release later this year, as the company faced setbacks related to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

A quartet of devices, tipped to range in size from 5.4-inches to 6.7-inches, are widely expected to include Apple’s first 5G models, though the vendor is yet to confirm this.

WSJ noted Apple usually ramps manufacturing of its devices in the middle of the year, aiming to achieve sufficient inventory of new models in August to meet launch demand in September. But, the newspaper noted production is likely to begin a month later than usual due to manufacturing disruptions and concerns about weakened consumer demand related to the pandemic, which could leave the vendor short if it sticks to its regular launch schedule.

The report comes a month after Nikkei Asian Review stated Apple was considering pushing back its traditional launch due to the crisis and would make a decision in May.

Earlier this month, 9to5Mac reported well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities said the company could stagger production and release of its forthcoming devices, as it did with the iPhone X range.

He tipped Apple to begin mass production of its smaller-sized iPhones in September, and follow with its larger model in October.