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It looks like Apple’s iPhone 12 release date is definitely delayed

Published Jul 30th, 2020 7:31AM EDT
iPhone 12 Release Date
Image: Apple Inc.

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  • The iPhone 12 release date is likely to be delayed to October, considering the increased chatter that indicates a postponement is imminent.
  • A leaker said the iPhone 12 and a new iPad will launch in October, without providing an actual release date for the handset.
  • Separately, Qualcomm adjusted its earnings guidance for the September quarter, saying that a flagship phone launch delay will impact its business during the period.

We saw plenty of chatter about the iPhone 12 release date in the past few months, and it’s all because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Most reports suggested buyers should expect some sort of delay. Not all four iPhone versions will ship during the regular late-September new iPhone launch window, some of those reports said. A few of the four iPhone 12 versions coming this year could arrive on time, while the others will hit stores in October or November. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted both the supply chain in Asia and Apple’s ability to travel to the region to finalize the iPhone 12 development on time, previous rumors claimed. More recent reports said that iPhone suppliers are churning components according to original plans, and Apple could still make its September deadline. It’s now late July, and we have two distinct sources that seem to deliver the same bad news. The iPhone 12 models will be delayed this year, with October looking like the likeliest release window for the handset.

First up is YouTuber Jon Prosser, who said on Twitter a few hours ago that the iPhone 12 and new iPads are coming in October. Prosser did not provide additional details about the handsets, or the new iPad types set to launch in October. The leaker has been accurate about several Apple moves during the first months of the pandemic, including store closures as well as the launch date and price of the iPhone SE 2nd-edition. Prosser also provided plenty of information about the four upcoming iPhone 12 models, including specs, sizes, and price points.

Independent of Prosser’s remarks, Qualcomm’s Chief Financial Officer Akash Palkhiwala talked to Reuters about the chipmaker’s guidance for the September quarter. The exec explained that a delay of a flagship phone next quarter would impact its bottom line of the period.

“We’re seeing a partial impact from the delay of a flagship phone launch. And so what we’ve seen is a slight delay that pushes some of the units out from the September quarter to the December quarter for us,” he said.

Palkhiwala would not explicitly name the iPhone 12 series, but only a device like the iPhone could alter earnings guidance in such a manner that Qualcomm would have to address it.

Qualcomm is expected to provide the 5G modem for all the upcoming iPhone 12 models, and that’s why a delay would impact its bottom line. The exec said that Qualcomm would provide 5G components to all major smartphone makers, including the customer facing a delayed launch. Again, the CFO did not name Apple. “Suffice to say, I think going forward we expect to be selling to all of them,” Palkhiwala said.

Assuming all of this information is accurate, and Apple will launch the iPhone 12 series in October, we’d still expect the company to unveil the handsets on time, during a mid-September press event. This wouldn’t be the first time some iPhones are delayed. The iPhone X launched in early November, and the iPhone XR hit stores in October a year later. It’s only with the iPhone 11 last year that Apple returned to a regular September launch for all the new iPhones of the cycle.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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