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iPhone 12 delay: normally it'd land next week, so when is the new iPhone coming?

In an unprecedented move for the company, Apple confirmed back in July that it has a new iPhone coming in 2020. It's not all good news ...

In an unprecedented move for the company, Apple confirmed back in July that it has a new iPhone coming in 2020. It's not all good news though; the company also confirmed it'll be out later in the year than it has previously "launched" its flagship phones.

If the company's was sticking to normal release dates, we would have been likely seeing the iPhone 12 on Tuesday, September 8. Instead, the wait seems to be longer for this year's new iPhone... and it may even extend into October.

When will you be able to buy yourself a brand new iPhone? Plus, when will the company be unveiling its new devices? Those are two different things, and below we're going to try and give you the best answers to those questions with the information we have so far.

When would we normally see a new iPhone?

September 8 was originally our best guess for the iPhone 12 announcement. That was leaked by an established tipster called ihacktu, and it matches what we’ve previously seen from the company in other years.

Typically, Apple announces its new iPhone on a Tuesday at the start of September. It's usually the first or second week of the year. It then often puts the device on sale 10 days after that, with pre-orders happening in that period between announcement and on sale.

That has been the case for almost every iPhone since the iPhone 5. Here's a few examples:

iPhone launch dates

Tue Sept 8, 2020: iPhone 12???

Tue Sept 10, 2019: iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max

Wed Sept 12, 2018: iPhone XS/XS Max/XR

Tue Sept 12, 2017: iPhone X/9/9 Plus

Wed Sept 7, 2016: iPhone 7/7 Plus

Wed Sept 9, 2015: iPhone 6S/6S Plus

Tue Sept 9, 2014: iPhone 6/6 Plus

Tue Sept 10, 2013: iPhone 5S/5C

Wed Sept 12, 2012: iPhone 5

Tue Oct 4, 2011: iPhone 4S

Mon June 7, 2010: iPhone 4

Mon June 8, 2009: iPhone 3GS

Mon June 9, 2008: iPhone 3G

Tue Jan 9, 2007: iPhone

All of this said, Apple hasn't specifically told us when the event will be and typically the company gives us at least a two week heads up on when to expect the new iPhone announcement.

There's a slim chance Apple could unveil the new handset on September 8 without a teaser for the event, but that's very unlikely as the company is sure to want lots of attention for its event.

Plus, the company has officially confirmed that there would be a delay in 2020. So what has Apple publicly said?

What has Apple said?

During Apple’s Q3 2020 earning call, Apple CFO Luca Maestri specifically referred to a new iPhone and clarified that the company is expecting its launch to be delayed in 2020 when compared to previous years.

Maestri said, “As you know, last year we started selling iPhones in late September. This year, we expect supply to be available a few weeks later.”

This is unheard of as Apple has never previously commented on the existence of a new iPhone, but the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the company’s financials – and future financials with an iPhone 12 delay on the horizon – have changed things a little.

Later, Maestri clarified “I said in my remarks that a year ago we launched new iPhone in late September. And I said that this year, the supply of the new product will be a few weeks later than that.”

Apple didn’t specifically call the device the iPhone 12, but this has essentially confirmed the new iPhone range we expected to launch around now will be delayed until at least some point later in 2020.

At first, we believed this may be very specific terminology chosen by Apple. We believed it wouldn't impact the time that you get to see the company unveil the iPhone 12 range announced on stage and is instead about when you can buy the phone.

That doesn't seem to be the case though, and we're going to have a bit longer to wait to see the phones unveiled.

When do we now expect the iPhone 12? 

iPhone 11 Pro Max

The iPhone 11 Pro Max from 2019 (Image credit: Future)

A variety of rumors have suggested October 2020 is when we're likely to see the new iPhones. We've previously expected that we would see the devices announced in September, but that seems less and less likely now.

Maestri’s terminology of “a few” weeks suggests that is pushed back by at least three weeks. That likely means you won’t be able to buy the phone until at least mid-October (the iPhone 11 series was released on September 20 last year).

It's difficult to predict an exact date as these are unprecedented times and they don't match Apple's usual schedule. One report from Bloomberg has suggested that Apple may also stagger the release date of its products after revealing them.

Leaker Jon Prosser who has been accurate on product announcement dates for the iPhone SE, iPad Pro and a few other Apple products has said he believes we'll be seeing the event on the week of October 12.

If that's true, we'd expect it to be October 13 as Apple often hosts its launches on a Tuesday. MacOtakara believes an event is set to take place toward the end of October.

Prosser also believes pre-orders for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max will open that same week. We'd estimate that Apple would follow its usual format of opening pre-orders on the Friday after announcement, so that'd be October 16.

Prosser's information also claims the products will begin shipping the week of October 19, while pre-order and shipping dates for the iPhone 12 Pro are set for some point in November.

How certain is any of this? 

None of this is certain. This is all conjecture that we’re able to suggest based on previous iPhone launches, a variety of leaks and Apple's specific way of announcing this, but these are strange times with the world trying to cope with Covid-19. 

Things may even have changed within Apple HQ since the July announcement so there may even be a longer delay than first expected. We won't know anything for certain until we hear directly from Apple on its plans for an event.

If it does happen, we'll be sure to be one of the first to let you know.



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