Apple Considering Delaying iPhone 12 Launch 'by Months'

Apple is preparing to delay the launch of the 2020 iPhones expected to be equipped with 5G technology, according to sources with knowledge of Apple's plans that spoke to Japanese news site Nikkei.


Apple has reportedly held internal discussions about the possibility of delaying the launch "by months" over fears of how well iPhones would sell in the current situation, and supply chain sources also believe that "practical hurdles" could push back the launch date, which was scheduled for September.

"Supply chain constraint aside, Apple is concerned that the current situation would significantly lower consumer appetite to upgrade their phones, which could lead to a tame reception of the first 5G iPhone," said a source with direct knowledge of the discussion. "They need the first ‌5G iPhone‌ to be a hit."

Apple is monitoring the outbreaks in the United States and Europe and assessing whether a delay might be necessary. A final decision could be made around May at the latest, with Apple perhaps waiting to finalize the timetable for the launch until the work from home order for its employees is lifted.

Apple this week told employees that it planned to extend the worldwide work from home order until April 8, with stores to begin opening once again in mid-April on a staggered basis. MacRumors heard from a source this morning that stores in the United States will not be among the first opened.

Nikkei says that the engineering development of the 2020 iPhone lineup has been affected by travel restrictions to the United States, China, and elsewhere. Apple was meant to work with suppliers to develop a "more concrete prototype" for the new iPhones in early March, but had to delay the collaboration until the end of the month before postponing it again. Suppliers believe that given where Apple is in the engineering process, the possibility of a delay "is looming."

Some suppliers have, however, been told to defer their mass production schedules for about two to three months.

"We have been notified to start shipping in big volumes to meet Apple's new product launch by the end of August, instead of like in previous years, when it would be sometime in June," said a supplier of components related to printed circuit boards. "The change was made very recently, and that could imply that the mass production of the phone could also be delayed for months."

At this time, suppliers have not been notified of a possible change in the production timeline and Apple is urging many of them to make up for time lost due to recent disruptions. "We are not giving up yet," said one of the sources that spoke to Nikkei. "We are doing whatever we can to sort the issue out."

Apple's discussions are said to be in the early stage, and the fall launch is not "completely off the table" yet. In a worse case scenario, though, the ‌5G iPhone‌ could be postponed until 2021.

A recent report from Bloomberg suggested that the iPhone 12 models are still on course for a fall launch despite disruptions to Apple's supply chain, and Foxconn this week said that it now has enough workers to meet "seasonal demand."

Rumors have indicated that Apple is working on four new ‌iPhone‌ models for 2020, which will be available at various price points. All models are expected to have 5G capabilities and A14 chips, and higher-end models are expected to be equipped with new 3D camera systems like the LiDAR Scanner in new iPad Pro models.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
16 weeks ago
I think the justification for yearly iPhone releases is coming to an end anyway. There's really no need.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 weeks ago
It’s a no brainer if you ask me. Add in that worldwide 5G deployments are going to be delayed by COVID-19, a September launch doesn’t seem necessary. Maybe November at the earliest.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 weeks ago
I wonder how this will disrupt the 2021 iPhone release schedule. Will they release a revision in less than 12 months to get back on schedule?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 weeks ago
They really don't need to release another iPhone. People are still trippin' over the 3 camera system in the Pro's... which btw, my wife's Christmas gift 11 pro max still carries a $1,000 Balance!
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 weeks ago
If Apple actually does decide to postpone the September launch, that signals that new phones will be the least of our problems.

To be honest though, I think it's too early to tell. Let's just hope we get this Covid-19 under control, that's really all that matters at this stage.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 weeks ago
It would be quite historic and a huge deal for Apple, but it also pales completely in comparison to what’s actually going on in the world right now.

Just delay it if needed, but show the phone on time so I can watch the stream from home isolation like it’s any other year. Wait what.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 Pro' to Come With 6GB of RAM

Friday July 10, 2020 1:59 am PDT by
Later this year, Apple is expected to release four OLED iPhones in three display sizes, including 5.4, 6.7, and two 6.1-inch models. Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices, and now leaker @L0vetodream has corroborated previous rumors about the internal specs of Apple's upcoming lineup. Rumors suggest Apple will use 5-nanometer A14 chips in its...

Apple Moving Forward on Semitransparent Lenses for Upcoming AR Headset

Friday July 10, 2020 7:24 am PDT by
Apple and Foxconn have reached a key milestone in the development of Apple's long-rumored augmented reality headset, with the semitransparent lenses for the device moving from prototype to trial production, reports The Information. Apple is developing the lenses on a single production line at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu in southwestern China, where most of Apple’s iPad production is...

Kuo: Apple Silicon Macs to Include 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air This Year, 14.1-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro Models Next Year

Friday July 10, 2020 2:58 am PDT by
At last month's WWDC, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown Apple Silicon chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first Apple Silicon Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Tom Hanks WWII Movie 'Greyhound' Debuts on Apple TV+

Friday July 10, 2020 3:33 am PDT by
Apple TV+ today debuted "Greyhound," the highly anticipated Second World War movie starring Tom Hanks as a naval officer given command of Navy destroyer Greyhound in the Battle of the Atlantic. "Greyhound" features Hanks as George Krause, who must fight his own self doubts and personal demons as he leads a convoy of Allied ships against German U-boats to prove that he belongs in command. ...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Public Beta, iPhone 12 Size Comparison, 14-Inch MacBook Pro Rumors

Saturday July 11, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
After one round of developer beta testing, Apple unleashed iOS and iPadOS 14 to a wider audience this week, opening it up to members of the public beta program. There are lots of changes and new features to check out, but as with any beta, be careful about installing it on your main devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other major stories this week included our ...

Hands-On With tvOS 14: Picture in Picture, 4K YouTube, HomeKit and More

Thursday July 9, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple at WWDC introduced a new version of tvOS, the software that's designed to run on the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS updates are often more minor in scale than iOS, watchOS, and macOS updates, but tvOS 14 has some useful new features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple in tvOS 13 introduced a Picture in Picture option for the Apple TV...

Apple CEO Tim Cook's 2019 Compensation Totaled Over $133 Million

Friday July 10, 2020 12:01 pm PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook was the second highest paid CEO in the United States in 2019, according to Bloomberg's list of the highest paid CEOs and executives in 2019. Cook received compensation totaling $133,727,869 by Bloomberg's count. Almost all of Cook's compensation was provided in the form of stock awards and related performance bonuses. As reported by the SEC earlier this year, Cook received ...