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5G iPhone 12 models might not launch until November

Published Jul 22nd, 2020 8:13PM EDT

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  • Apple is said to be delaying the release date of the 4G iPhone 12 models to October and the 5G iPhone 12 models, according to a new leak from Mac Otakara.
  • Most previous leaks have claimed that Apple will launch four 5G iPhone models this fall, but some recent rumors have also discussed two cheaper LTE-only models.
  • Whatever the case, an iPhone 12 delay is still very much a possibility.

As soon as the novel coronavirus outbreak in China morphed into a global pandemic, it seemed inevitable that some of the biggest product launches of the year would be delayed due to supply chain issues and factory shutdowns. And while we’ve seen a few cases of this over the past four months, other companies have stayed the course and brought their devices to market despite the hurdles caused by the virus. For some time, the consensus seemed to be that the iPhone 12 would launch on time, but the latest reports are making a delay sound inevitable.

Citing supply chain sources in China, Mac Otakara reports that the iPhone 12 will miss its September release date. In fact, according to the sources, Apple will launch the iPhone 12 LTE models in October, and will wait until November to launch the 5G models. This is the first we’ve heard about Apple splitting up the launches this way.

There are a number of peculiarities about this report. First, and perhaps most importantly, Mac Otakara has a fairly spotty track record when it comes to leaks. The site has certainly provided accurate information in the past, but many of its reports haven’t come to pass. Second, the prevailing theory is that Apple will launch four iPhone 12 models this fall, all of which will support 5G. Although there have been rumors about a fifth, LTE-only iPhone 12, they have yet to be corroborated by many reliable sources, which leaves us skeptical that this model exists.

Based on previous rumors, we expect at least four models to launch this fall: a 5.4-inch iPhone 12, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. Those names are, of course, subject to change, but virtually every reliable leaker and analyst is confident that these phones will be available to purchase this fall, likely starting at around $649 or $699. But then there’s the matter of the release date.

By the time Apple reveals the iPhone 12 — presumably with a digital event in September — it’s hard to imagine that there will be anything left unleaked, but for now, the release date of the iPhone 12 (or any iPhone 12, for that matter), is still a mystery. Late last month, a Wedbush Securities note suggested that Apple would launch the 5G iPhone “in its typical mid-late September timeframe.” Meanwhile, on July 1st, Nikkei reported that the iPhone 12 could face “months of delay” due to the pandemic. So, at this point, who really knows?

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.