Fret not, Apple is still expected to stick to a 'normal' iPhone 12 release schedule... for now

Fret not, Apple is still expected to stick to a 'normal' iPhone 12 release schedule... for now
While nowhere near as serious as the actual impact on human lives, the repercussions of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic on the global mobile industry are essentially growing larger and larger by the day, ranging from a massive drop in Chinese smartphone sales to a slightly smaller decline in worldwide handset production, the cancellation of the largest trade show in this business, and possibly, delays for some of the year's most highly anticipated releases.

But just 24 hours after reporting Apple may not be able to stick to its regular fall schedule in 2020, Digitimes now claims "sources familiar with the matter" are expecting the iPhone 12 roster to be announced in September, much like last year's iPhone 11 lineup and so many other popular "iDevices" before them.

A late production start could still lead to short supply at launch

We have no idea what could have possibly changed in a day, and whether or not these new sources cited by Digitimes are different from the "old" ones, but what we do know is that September is not exactly right around the corner. Also, the coronavirus epidemic is showing no signs of slowing down, and no one (not even Trump) knows when the disease will be contained.

That obviously means it's virtually impossible to predict when smartphone production might go back to normal in China, and although Apple is taking whatever precautions it can, building the iPhone 12 family from scratch in other countries will certainly prove tricky. Especially in the numbers needed to satisfy the undoubtedly rampant global demand likely to be generated by the company's first-ever 5G-enabled handsets.

Bottom line, even if today's optimistic forecast comes true and Apple manages to unveil its next-gen high-end iPhones in September, kicking off production "after June" could well mean the traditional release will end up being unusually limited. All in all, we don't know how this whole affair will play out, but at least for the time being, things look a little less bleak than initially anticipated.

Apple has high hopes for the iPhone 12 family

Following several underwhelming years in terms of sales volume, the Cupertino-based tech giant reportedly expects the iPhone 12, 12 Plus, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max to generate significantly higher demand than its predecessors. Namely, today's "industry sources" are forecasting production of next-gen Apple A14 chips could exceed the A13's numbers by a whopping 50 to 60 percent.

By the way, while the aforementioned names are far from etched in stone, most reputable analysts and prolific leakers expect Apple to release a grand total of four iPhone 12 variants. All of these should sport high-quality OLED screens ranging in size from 5.4 to 6.7 inches, but if you're a fan of LCD panels, lower prices, or conventional fingerprint scanners, you'll likely get the new device of your dreams next month.

Of course, the release schedule of the 4.7-inch iPhone 9 could be greatly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak too, although odds are Apple managed to manufacture a couple million units before factories were closed. It remains to be seen if the budget-friendly handset will be released in limited numbers in late March before manufacturers outside of China can catch up to global demand or if the whole launch will be delayed by a few weeks or so.

The iPhone 9 is widely expected to look an awful lot like 2017's iPhone 8, while the iPhone 12 quartet could take a few design cues from the ancient iPhone 4. We're talking about a subtle homage infused with plenty of modern elements, including a smaller notch housing an even more sophisticated facial recognition system and quadruple cameras mounted on the back of at least two of the four main models tipped for a fall 2020 announcement.

Related phones

iPhone 12 Pro
iPhone 12 Pro Max


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