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At this point there are already a fair number of reports suggesting that at least some of Apple’s iPhone 12 models could be delayed until October, with analysts and suppliers weighing in on possible delays, and now we’re hearing even more news that indicates that the entire lineup of 5G iPhones could be delayed beyond the normal September release dates.
Last month one of Apple’s major component suppliers, Broadcom, strongly suggested that the iPhone 12 could be delayed when its CEO, Hock Tan, made an oblique reference to “a major product cycle delay” at “a large North American mobile phone” company — a reference that pretty much everybody accepted as referring to Apple and the iPhone. Now Qualcomm is weighing in too, albeit indirectly, in comments the chip-maker has made to its own investors.
As reported by Reuters, Qualcomm CFO Akash Palkhiwala predicted that the “delay of a flagship phone launch” would impact its bottom line for the upcoming quarter, although he also referred to the delay as “slight,” noting that it would simply push some of the units — and the revenue that Qualcomm would see from them — out into the “December” quarter instead of the “September” quarter.
Much like the comments from Broadcom’s CEO, it’s extremely unlikely that Qualcomm’s Palkhiwala could be referring to anything other than the iPhone, since no other major smartphone manufacturers release their flagship models in the fall.
Of course, this still doesn’t make it entirely clear if only some iPhone models will be delayed, nor whether Apple’s actual event will be held in September or not.
Apple has unveiled new iPhone models in the past that were released later on, such as the original iPhone X in 2017 and the iPhone XR in 2018, although these were always additional models, so if the entire iPhone 12 lineup were to be delayed into October, a September event would make it the first time since the original iPhone in 2007 that Apple has introduced new iPhone models so far in advance of their availability.
New iPads Too?
Meanwhile, leaker Jon Prosser has also weighed in with his own information that suggests that new iPhone 12 models will launch in October, but he also adds that he expects Apple to unveil new iPad models at the same time as well.
Prosser didn’t provide any details on which iPad models could see a refresh, but despite rumours of a mini-LED 5G iPad Pro in the works, most reports suggest that’s not coming until 2021. Further, Apple just released new iPad Pro models earlier this year, and while it wouldn’t be unprecedented for the company to update the same product lineup twice in one year, the fact that Apple’s iPad mini and iPad Air were last updated in March 2019 suggests that these are the most likely candidates.
In fact, a new iPad Air could potentially be an even more exciting announcement, since we’ve heard reports that Apple is working on an 11-inch iPad Air with in-display Touch ID, which would likely bring the design more in line with the iPad Pro and help to distinguish the iPad Air from Apple’s entry-level 10.2-inch iPad. Whether the iPad mini would get a similar treatment is much less certain, however.
It’s also worth noting that despite a strong track record earlier this year, Prosser’s predictions have become less reliable recently, including sharing a fake AirPower image, as well as a very dubious report on Apple’s AR Glasses. He also predicted that several products would launch at WWDC, including Apple’s new AirPods Studio headphones, which never happened.
That said, however, this latest set of predictions are fairly safe bets — just about everybody is predicting an October iPhone launch now, and new iPads in some form wouldn’t be a big surprise, although based on Apple’s rather inconsistent update schedule for its lower-end iPad models, we’d say that one could still go either way.
Another rumour earlier this week said that Apple is actually planning two fall events, with an iPhone 12 launch event still to be held in September — even if the new iPhones don’t actually go on sale until October — followed by another event in late October that would see the unveiling of the first Apple Silicon MacBooks, and even a new AirPower and Apple Glass.