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A supply issue won’t prevent Apple from shipping the iPhone 12 in October

Published Aug 7th, 2020 9:25PM EDT
  • Apple’s iPhone 12 release was pushed back a few weeks on account of the coronavirus.
  • As a result, the new launch window for the iPhone 12 will likely be sometime in October.
  • Apple’s higher-end iPhone 12 models may not arrive in stores until November.

A new investor note from reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) relays that one of Apple’s iPhone suppliers is experiencing some quality control issues with a camera lens on the company’s lower-end iPhone 12 models. Recall that Apple this year is poised to release four distinct iPhone 12 models, a lineup set to include two Pro models with 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays and two lower-end models with 6.1-inch and 5.4-inch displays. The supplier in question is said to be Genius Electronic Optical and the problem is said to involve a wide-angle camera lens.

The issue reportedly arises when the wide-angle lens is subjected to high temperature and high humidity testing. And while the problem will take some time for Genius Electronic Optical to address, the good news is that Apple has another supplier producing the same component. As a result, Kuo doesn’t believe that the production issue will result in further delays to the iPhone 12 release.

Kuo’s note reads in part:

We estimate that the low-end 7P wide-angle lens, CCM, and final assembly mass production of the 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch aluminum frame iPhone will be in mid-to-late August, mid-to-late September, and early October, respectively. We believe that in the uncertain timetable for [Genius] to solve the quality problem of film cracking, Apple will give priority to purchasing Largan’s low-end 1/2.6” 7P wide-angle lens at least in the initial supply stage to ensure that the two aluminum-framed ‌iPhone 12‌ can be as scheduled.

As to the iPhone 12 launch window, it’s no secret that Apple’s next-gen iPhone models will arrive in stores a little bit later than we’ve come to expect. Hardly a point of speculation anymore, Apple during its recent earnings conference call took the unusual — if not unprecedented — step of confirming that the iPhone 12 release would be pushed back by a few weeks this year.

“As you know,” Apple CFO Luca Maestri said last week, “the last year we started selling new iPhones in late September. This year, we project supply to be available a few weeks later.”

And while Apple didn’t provide a reason, it’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic delayed the iPhone design and development process by a few weeks.

On a related note, it’s a safe bet that Apple iPhone 12 models will not all launch at the same time this year. As has been the case with previous iPhone launches, there’s a strong possibility that Apple’s lower-end iPhone 12 models will arrive first followed by the company’s higher-end iPhone 12 models a few weeks later. Some believe we might not even see the iPhone 12 Pro Max hit stores until early November.

Design wise, Apple’s iPhone 12 will revert back to the design language of the iPhone 4, which is to say we can expect to see Apple abandon the rounded-edge design it has employed since the release of the iPhone 6 nearly six years ago. An illustration of what Apple’s four iPhone 12 models will look like can be seen below:

Image source: EverythingApplePro/YouTube

Some of the more exciting iPhone 12 features we expect Apple to announce next month include support for 5G, improved Wi-Fi speeds, louder speakers with improved dynamic range, a next-gen A14 processor, improved Face ID reliability with support for wider angles when unlocking, 120Hz ProMotion displays on the higher-end models, improved camera performance thanks to the inclusion of a LiDAR sensor, Portrait Mode for videos, and improved low-light camera performance.

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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