- Rumors and reports have suggested the iPhone 12 release date would be delayed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but a new report suggests the 5G iPhone is still on schedule.
- According to a note from Wedbush Securities, Apple will launch its first 5G iPhone models in mid-September, which is when new iPhone flagships typically make their debut.
- Wedbush also predicts that Apple won’t include wired EarPods in the iPhone 12 box.
When the coronavirus outbreak turned into a full-blown pandemic in March, there were concerns about the likelihood of many products launching on time this year due to the potential disruption of supply chains. Many reports suggested that Apple would, at the very least, delay the iPhone 12 release date by a few weeks, and the explanations seemed to add up. In late March, Nikkei reported that not only had the development of the 5G iPhone been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but also that Apple was concerned that demand for pricey new phones would be subdued.
For some time, the general consensus among analysts and anonymous sources was that the iPhone 12 series would not arrive in September, as most Apple flagship phones have for the past several years. But according to a new note from Wedbush Securities, we might get four new iPhone models in September after all.
“The supply chain getting back to normalization ahead of expectations has been impressive and now ultimately puts Cook & Co. back in the driver’s seat to launch this 5G [iPhone] cycle in its typical mid-late September timeframe,” said Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe. “Although there has been some noise about the 5G component of this iPhone product cycle, we are hearing from suppliers this launch globally and within the US is right on target and sets the stage for Apple to go after this transformational multi-year 5G market opportunity.”
While previous reports suggested that Apple could face both supply and demand issues this fall, Wedbush appears to be predicting the exact opposite. The firm’s contacts in Asia say they are “looking at iPhone units in the 160 million to 180 million range” for the calendar year 2020, and Wedbush believes China will account for 20% of upgrades.
These aren’t the only bold predictions that the analysts have made lately. Ives and Backe reiterated in their latest note that they “continue to hear” the iPhone 12 will not ship with wired EarPods. As they note, Apple is already projected to sell 20 million more AirPods in 2020 than it did in 2019 (85 million vs. 65 million), and killing off EarPods “ultimately will create more cross-sell opportunities for AirPods over the coming year.”
In all likelihood, another rumor or report is surfacing as I type this which claims the iPhone 12 will be ready in October, but, at least for the moment, we have a suggestion that the iPhone 12 won’t face any coronavirus-related delays. Now we just have to hope that the US contains its outbreak and there isn’t a second wave this fall.