Apple may announce iPhone 12 5G series in September, delay Pro Max until October

Apple to announce iPhone 12 series in September, delay Pro Max until October
Apple has delayed only two smartphones – the iPhone X and iPhone XR – since 2012, but this year is turning out to be pretty extraordinary and the company could be forced to delay the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.

Some analysts agree with this statement and others believe there will be no delay. But the latest research note by analyst Jeff Pu of GF Securities suggests Apple’s plans may actually be a combination of both scenarios.

Three iPhone 12 models in September, one in October

The analyst in question believes the development schedule for iPhone 12 models has most likely been delayed due to existing travel bans and cargo flight delays related directly to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's not the first time we have heard these claims, but Jeff Pu goes into more detail than others.

The current Engineering Verification Test (EVT) stage of iPhone 12 development has reportedly been extended by two weeks to late April for the 5.4-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Plus, and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro.

The bigger and more expensive 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max, on the other hand, seems to have been more severely affected and now isn’t expected to complete the EVT stage of development until mid-May – around two weeks after the other models.

That doesn’t sound like much but it could hugely affect the launch of the next iPhone lineup, especially when it comes to the Pro Max model. Fortunately, Pu believes Apple will be able to limit delays.

He currently expects the new 5.4-inch iPhone 12 to launch in September alongside the revised 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Plus and iPhone 12 Pro models. The range-topping 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max, on the other hand, should be available to purchase in October.

The two-phase rollout mimics the iPhone XS/XR launch

This two-phase rollout closely mimics the launch strategy Apple adopted two years ago with the iPhone XS and iPhone XR, which launched in September and October respectively. It's also similar to the iPhone 8 and iPhone X releases, which happened in September and November.

The upside to the timeline, if accurate, is that consumers can still expect Apple to announce the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max in September. That will give customers the chance to wait for the larger model if it suits them best. 

These flagships, for those of you that aren’t aware, are expected to adopt the next-gen A14 Bionic chipset and upgraded OLED displays that implement smaller notches. The latter is needed to make room for the iPad Pro LiDAR Scanner that the Pro-branded iPhones will be inheriting. 

Other features look set to include 5G network support as standard across the entire lineup and iOS 14 straight out of the box.

Expect the 2020 iPhone SE next week

Before all of this happens, Apple is expected to announce the 2020 iPhone SE and iPhone SE Plus. The latter has reportedly faced production issues and will make an appearance later in the year, but the former will arrive in mid-April, according to Jeff Pu.

That coincides with the information provided last month by Jon Prosser, who says the new iPhone SE is going to be announced next week on either April 14 or April 15. This will be followed by a release on April 24 or April 22 respectively depending on the announcement. 

The new iPhone SE is an upgraded version of the iPhone 8 that retains the 4.7-inch display and Touch ID home button while introducing improvements such as the A13 Bionic, 3GB of RAM, and a slightly bigger battery.

It should retail at $399 and be available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB versions.

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