There’s mounting evidence that iPhone 12 won’t launch in September
A new Bloomberg report cites Broadcom CEO Hock Tan as saying that a “large North American mobile phone” maker might experience a “major product cycle delay.” Broadcom is one of the chip suppliers for Apple’s iPhone, and the report says that Tan frequently refers to Apple this way.
Broadcom usually gets a surge in revenue in its third fiscal quarter of the year, when iPhones go into mass production (the actual launch typically happens in late September). But this year, Broadcom doesn’t expect to see the increased revenue until the company’s fourth fiscal quarter, Tan said during an earnings conference call on Thursday.
Note that Broadcom’s third fiscal quarter is different from the calendar’s third quarter, as it runs from May to July. Tan’s remarks imply that Apple will start iPhone 12 mass production later than usual, which also means a delayed launch, possibly into October or even after that.
In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is pushing back mass production of the iPhone 12 by about a month. Nikkei’s March report suggested an even more drastic change, with the launch possibly being delayed by “months.”
All of the reports cite similar reasons for the delay: The coronavirus pandemic has slowed down manufacturing, and forced Apple to temporarily shut down all of its retail stores outside of China (the stores are currently being re-opened). Bloomberg also says the pandemic has made it hard for Apple engineers to travel to China to finalize the new iPhones.
Apple is expected to launch four new iPhones in the fall, two cheaper models with 5.4- and 6.1-inch screens, and two high-end variants with 6.1- and 6.7-inch screens. All of the phones should have an OLED display, though some high-end variants will have a display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The new phones should also come with an upgraded Face ID system and a LIDAR sensor on the back. Finally, rumors suggest the pricier models will come with a larger battery and 3x optical zoom.