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Will Apple’s iPhone 13 release be delayed? Here’s when we’ll find out

Published Jun 30th, 2021 4:35PM EDT
iPhone 13 Launch Delay
Image: New Africa/Adobe

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An increasing number of reports indicate that Apple’s key parts suppliers are already manufacturing components for the iPhone 13. The consensus seems to be that one of the most anticipated products of the year will be released on time. Apple usually unveils the newest iPhone at a mid-September event and begins taking preorders a few days later. The new iPhone launches in stores a week later. Apple has experienced various iPhone launch delays in recent years, with the iPhone 12 series being a notable exception. It’s the only launch delay that Apple warned customers about. And now, we should soon know whether iPhone 13 launch delays are in order.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro versions reached the hands of early buyers in late October last year. The Mini and Pro Max models launched a few days into November 2020. But buyers and investors alike were already forewarned. And Apple’s September event did not include any iPhone announcements. Apple hosted a separate virtual keynote in mid-October.

Apple’s unexpected iPhone revelation

The novel coronavirus pandemic was raging around the world last summer. Travel bans and other restrictions forced Apple to delay launch plans to October. But Apple disclosed the iPhone launch delays several months before the expected mid-September launch.

Apple CFO Luca Maestri addressed the pandemic during Apple’s July 30th earnings call last year:

Similar to last quarter, given the uncertainty around the world in the near term, we will not be issuing revenue and margin guidance for the coming quarter. However, we will provide some additional insight on our expectations for the September quarter for our product categories.

The exec went on to confirm to investors and the public at large that the iPhone 12 would see launch delays:

In addition, as you know, last year, we started selling new iPhones in late September. This year, we project supply to be available a few weeks later.

When we’ll learn if the iPhone 13 launch is delayed

Apple has experienced iPhone launch delays in the past, even before the pandemic. iPhone X supply was limited in mid-September 2017, so the handset didn’t hit stores until early November. A year later, it was the entry-level iPhone XR’s turn to see delays. Each time, two other brand new iPhones were available to buyers on schedule, in late September. And each time, Apple only disclosed the delays during its mid-September launch event.

The COVID-19 health crisis forced Apple to do address delays during its quarterly earnings reports. It so happens that Apple just announced the timing for its June 2021 earnings call. Apple will hold a conference call for investors on July 27th for its fiscal Q3 2021 quarter. Should Apple have reasons to fear an iPhone 13 launch delay, it’ll announce it at that point.

The pandemic isn’t over, but it’s more manageable than before. While various regions continue to experience some limitations this year, ample vaccination campaigns have helped many countries relax restrictions. Travel has resumed, and manufacturing hasn’t seen notable slowdowns. Furthermore, the chip crisis should not impact the iPhone this year since Apple is a top priority for suppliers. That’s why most reports say the iPhone 13 will be released on time in 2021, making last year’s delays a distant memory.

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.