08/07 Update below. This post was originally published on August 04
Apple already confirmed the iPhone 12 range is delayed. But now there’s a twist.
iPhone 12 retail packaging concept render
EverythingApple ProMORE FROM FORBESNew iPhone 12 Pro Max Renders Give Best Look Yet At Apple’s New iPhoneBy Gordon KellyRecommended For You
Following comments from Apple CFO Luca Maestri that the new iPhones will ship “a few weeks later”, Digitimes says the launch will actually be split in two with potential buyers of the new 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max needing to wait longer. This confirms a tip-off acclaimed Apple insider Jon Prosser gave me last week that the launch would be “staggered”.
08/06 Update: in an interesting late leak, popular (if terribly named) iPhone leaker Apple Rumors Leaks states that one iPhone 12 model is having a surprise last minute name change. The ‘iPhone 12 Max’ (details below) will instead launch with the more familiar ‘iPhone 12 Plus’ name. This makes a lot of sense, since the introduction of Max and Pro Max models were likely to cause confusion. Especially with the iPhone 12 Max having a 6.1-inch display, like the iPhone 12 Pro, not a 6.7-inch display like the iPhone 12 Pro Max – chaos. In contrast: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Plus, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max is a much cleaner lineup.
08/07 Update: A new report from acclaimed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has offered a further update on Apple’s iPhone 12 release plans. Seen by MacRumors, Kuo reports that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max/Plus are suffering from camera lens quality issues, with the coatings on the lenses cracking during high humidity and temperature testing. Two suppliers make these coatings, but only one is experiencing these problems and Kuo believes that Apple will still be able to launch the models on time. That said, even though Apple is expected to hit its slightly delayed launch target, it looks like supply may be even more constrained than usual, so aspiring upgraders will need to move fast.
“Apple may launch its 5G iPhones in two stages,” explains Digitimes. “With two 6.1-inch models in the first and another two 6.7- and 5.4-inch devices in the second, the sources said, adding that suppliers of SLP (substrate-like PCB) mainboards for the former models have recently kicked off shipments, with those for the latter to start in late August.”
The 6.1-inch models in question will be the iPhone 12 Max (the successor to iPhone 11) and the iPhone 12 Pro. The former is renamed due to a new 5.4-inch model taking its place as the entry-level model, while the latter is jumping up from 5.8-inches, though without a significant size increase thanks to smaller bezels.
Apple iPhone 12 range renders based on multiple leaks
So how much later can we expect the 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 models to arrive? DigiTimes’ source says “Shipments of flexible boards for new iPhones will peak some 2-4 weeks later than usual this year” which suggests a potential delay of up to a month. I’m pegging the iPhone 12 Max and iPhone 12 Pro to go on sale either October 2 or 9, so a four week delay could push the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max into early November.
Apple has been here once before. In 2017, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus launched in September while the iPhone X was delayed until November. But this would be the first time two new iPhones have been delayed. That said, despite recent concerns about their pricing and battery life, the introduction of all-new designs, big performance upgrades and inventive camera tech alongside 5G suggests they will still sell in vast numbers.
Moreover, you now have a little more time to save up and you may need it.
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