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iPhone 12 release might not happen until November

Published Apr 19th, 2020 9:30AM EDT
iPhone 12 Release Date
Image: Alex Tai/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

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  • Apple’s iPhone 12 release date may be delayed until November 2020.
  • When the iPhone 12 does arrive, sales may be tepid in light of the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus.
  • Rumor has it Apple will decide on a firm iPhone 12 release date next month.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

A new investor note from Goldman Sachs relays that Apple will delay the release of its highly-anticipated iPhone 12 until November. In turn, the investment bank — which also happens to be partners with Apple on the Apple Card — downgraded Apple shares to a rare “sell’ rating.

In a note obtained by Reuters, Goldman Sachs analysts articulated that the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus will have a marked impact on iPhone upgrades. Put simply, the note claims that iPhone owners “will keep devices longer and choose less expensive Apple options when they do buy a new device.”

If we’re being fair, the analysis is not without merit. At this point, there’s still no telling when the coronavirus pandemic will start to subside. What’s more, the novel coronavirus’s impact on the U.S. economy has been severe and cannot be overstated. Unemployment claims are at historic highs and an estimated 10% of the entire U.S. labor force now find themselves without any work. All that being said, it stands to reason that many consumers who would otherwise be interested in upgrading to the iPhone 12 simply won’t be in a financial position to do so this year.

While we’ve seen reports indicating that the iPhone 12 release might be delayed by two months because Apple wants to give the U.S. economy a little bit more time to recover, Goldman Sachs claims the delay will be on account of delays to the iPhone 12 engineering and manufacturing process.

To this end, a Nikkei report last month explained how the coronavirus has impacted iPhone 12 development:

The engineering development of the 5G iPhone has also been affected by travel curbs introduced in the U.S., China and elsewhere to combat the coronavirus, two people with knowledge of Apple’s schedule said. The company was supposed to work with suppliers to develop a more concrete prototype for the new phones from early March, but it had to delay such close collaboration, which requires hands-on testing, until the end of the month, before postponing it again due to the worsening pandemic in the U.S., they said.

All in all, Apple is operating in uncharted waters here and there’s no telling the extent to which the coronavirus pandemic will alter Apple’s iPhone 12 release plans and the extent to which the economy will impact sales once the device is released. In light of that, it’s not surprising that we’ve seen a lot of conflicting information regarding the iPhone 12 release. While Goldman Sachs believes a delay to November is in the cards, we’ve seen other reports from similarly credible sources claiming that a September launch will proceed as planned.

The most plausible report, though, indicates that Apple is monitoring the situation on a day-to-day basis and that executives are aiming to figure out an official release schedule sometime before June.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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