Apple's third quarter results could hold the key to iPhone 12 launch date

Apple's third quarter results could hold the key to iPhone 12 launch date
Apple will announce its fiscal third-quarter results tomorrow and analysts believe that if it issues guidance for the fiscal fourth quarter, it could hold the clues to the iPhone 12 launch date, according to Business Insider.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, revenue is expected to fall by $2 billion in the third quarter. The company's sales were also affected in its fiscal second-quarter because of the outbreak and the wearables and services wing were the silver lining. The iPhone maker did not issue guidance for the fiscal third-quarter when it revealed second-quarter earnings because of the uncertainties posed by the coronavirus.

According to the estimates of Wall Street analysts, Apple will post revenue of $52.1 billion, nearly a 3 percent year-on-year decrease. Services are expected to remain a bright spot. Demand for some products might have gone up too because of remote work and learning.

Tomorrow's call will be more about what's to come


Overall, analysts are not too concerned about the third-quarter results and have branded it a "throwaway quarter." 

Instead, tomorrow's results are more about the upcoming iPhone 12. Industry insiders have been looking forward to the first 5G iPhone for a long time and this is what makes this year so important. Although Apple is unlikely to confirm its first 5G-enabled smartphone during the earnings call, analysts are hoping to guess the launch date based on whether the company issues guidance for the next quarter. 

Since the past few months, we have been listening to varied reports about the launch of the iPhone 12, with some leaks hinting at a delay. Some of the rumors had alleged that the coronavirus-related restrictions have disrupted the manufacturing process.

So, tomorrow, investors would want to find out if the handset is still on track and that the company is still making products.

If the Cupertino giant issues guidance that's low, it would be an indication that the iPhone 12 is getting delayed. On the other hand, if the guidance is seasonally higher when compared to the last few quarters, it would be a sign that the launch plans have not been disrupted because of the virus.

RBC Capital Markets' Muller said:


Per most estimates, the iPhone 12 announcement will take place between mid-to-late September and October. It remains to be seen if all the models will go on sale at the time. 

Is iPhone 12 the next big thing after the iPhone 6?


Before the coronavirus struck, Apple was reportedly hoping that the iPhone 12 would start a super cycle. Although most analysts believe this could still happen, some have cast their doubts. So, Apple's expectations for the next quarter will also help analysts determine whether the company still has high hopes for its new lineup. 

5G supercycle will also help the manufacturer offset any pandemic-fueled impact on other units. Overall, market watchers seem quite optimistic about the iPhone 12 and believe it will be the most important product cycle Apple has seen since the release of the iPhone 6 in 2014.

According to Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives:


Previously, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were expected to replicate the success of the iPhone 6 but that didn't happen. The ground seems ripe for the iPhone 12 though. Apparently, 350 million out of the current installed base of 925 million are up for an upgrade, and this could surely help drive demand. Another thing that could work in Apple's favor is iPhone 12's price, provided it starts at $649, and not $749 as reported recently.

Related phones

iPhone 12
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  • Camera 64 MP (Dual camera)
    12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A14 Bionic
    6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • OS iOS
iPhone 12 Pro
  • Display 6.1 inches
    2532 x 1170 pixels
  • Camera 64 MP (Quad camera)
    12 MP front
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iPhone 12 Max
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iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Display 6.7 inches
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  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
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