Apple’s 5G iPhone 12 Is Back on Track for September, But May Be Missing Accessories

iPhone 12 Concept Navy Blue 1 Credit: Svet Apple
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Over the past few months, we’ve heard an unprecedented number of conflicting rumours as to when this year’s iPhone may actually be launching, or even which models may appear when, with many reports pointing to possible delays due to manufacturing, engineering, and testing setbacks as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Reports have ranged from possible delays into 2021 to suggestions that only the “Pro” models will be delayed, and possibly only into October. However, now a new report from the analysts at Wedbush shared by 9to5Mac suggests that everything is in fact on track for a September launch.

To be clear, this isn’t just a repeat of the previous story that everything was okay; Wedbush acknowledges that there have been some delays in the supply chain, but that they’ve apparently been busting their collective butts to overcome those delays and get everything back on schedule.

The supply chain getting back to normalization ahead of expectations has been impressive and now ultimately puts Cook & Co. back in the drivers seat to launch this 5G cycle in its typical mid-late September timeframe …

Wedbush

This makes sense in light of previous reports, since of course these have been difficult times around the world and there’s been a lot of uncertainty, but as Wedbush’s analysts note, there’s been a strong push both from Apple and its suppliers to make up for lost time so ensure that the 5G iPhone is ready in time for what is expected to be a “5G super-cycle” this fall.

In fact, Wedbush is expecting that the iPhone 12 will drive Apple to become the first $2 trillion company as a result of the pent-up demand for 5G smartphones in general, and for the iPhone 12 specifically, which could form a sort of perfect storm for meeting the expectations of tech-hungry consumers.

Accessories Not Included?

However, the team at Wedbush echoes the report we heard from Ming-Chi Kuo last month that EarPods will no longer be included with this year’s iPhones, echoing Kuo’s reasoning as well that this should help to drive stronger demand for AirPods over the coming year, with the expectation that Apple could sell 85 million units of its true wireless earbuds as a result.

Analysts at Barclays also share this belief, but they’re actually taking their predictions a big step further, suggesting that Apple won’t even be including a power adapter in the box this year.

In a research note obtained by MacRumors, the British bank analysts have spoken with multiple Apple suppliers and come to the conclusion that not only are EarPods being omitted this year, but that the iPhone 12 could ship with only a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box, leaving buyers to find their own power supplies.

While this would be a massively positive move for the environment on Apple’s part, and could even appease European regulators (albeit in a more indirect way), it would leave at least some first-time iPhone buyers in the lurch.

It’s clear that Apple is aiming for a future without wires, and many users may already prefer wireless charging options, leaving the power brick unused in the box.

There are also many other cases where users may not have any need for an included charger, such as homes with multiple iPhone users who share single charging stations, those who simply prefer to plug into their MacBook to charge, and those who have compatible chargers from prior iPhone models.

Of course, Apple still sells all of its power adapters separately, with the basic 5W adapter available for $19, and the 18W power adapter, which Apple began including with last year’s iPhone 11 Pro models, selling for $29.

However, this report from Barclays also flies in the face of a leak we heard this week that suggested Apple could be including a new 20W power adapter with at least some iPhone 12 models.

Since analysts such as Barclays get most of their information from supply chain sources, it’s conceivably possible that both reports could be correct if the rumoured 20W adapter is being built by a different manufacturing partner; Barclays may be basing its predictions on production for the older 5W and 18W adapters not having been scaled up to match the number of iPhone 12 units expected to be manufactured.

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