Japanese mobile operators NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank postponed the release of the new iPhone SE by two weeks after the government last week expanded its state of emergency to the entire country as it attempts to slow the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).

In a statement, Docomo yesterday (19 April) said it moved the release from 27 April to 11 May due to the government’s new policy aiming to reduce social contact by 80 per cent.

Japan’s state of emergency is scheduled to be lifted on 6 May but could be extended.

KDDI and SoftBank also pushed back the launch to 11 May.

All three operators said they started accepting orders today on their websites.

SoftBank said it reduced store hours and limited in-store services at the request of the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts.

The new device, offering high-spec features at a low- to mid-tier price, will be available in the US and 40 other countries from 24 April.

The 64GB version is listed at JPY44,800 ($416.40) on Apple’s Japanese website.