iPhone 12 delay might be good news for Apple and consumers

iPhone 12 concept
iPhone 12 concept (Image credit: Path of Design)

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal became the latest publication to report the coronavirus pandemic is likely to delay the launch of the iPhone 12 series. The news doesn't come as a surprise, and in the long-term, could help Apple makes its way through these challenging times. Much will depend on how quickly the world recovers from the pandemic and whether demand for high-end electronics picks up in the coming months.

The Wall Street Journal says Apple will begin mass production on the iPhone 12 lineup a month later than usual. Typically, Apple announces new iPhones in mid-September with launch dates towards the end of the month. To achieve this, mass-production on Apple's No. 1 product line typically begins in early summer. A 30-day delay means some iPhone 12 models won't reach consumers until October or later. Along with the modest delay, Apple's expected to slash the number of devices it initially produces because of lower demand.

Apple's expected to reveal four new handsets this fall in three sizes. The rumored 5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch handsets will all feature OLED. The new handsets will also include 5G capabilities with at least two of the handsets featuring new camera systems.

Delayed, but for how long?

With four new models incoming, Apple might be planning only to delay the launch of specific iPhone 12 models this fall. It's a path the company took in two of the last three years. In 2017, the iPhone X and iPhone 8/8 Plus were both announced in September. However, the iPhone X didn't launch until early November. One year later, both the iPhone XS/XS Plus and iPhone XR were announced in September, but the latter didn't arrive in stores until late October.

No doubt, COVID-19 didn't just affect Apple's supply chain, which is the only reason for the previous delays. Other factors, such as the ongoing economic downturn and continued stay-at-home orders around the world, will also influence just how long iPhone 12 delays could occur.

One month ago, I said Apple should delay the iPhone 12 launch until 2021. I still believe this, although I'm changing my stance ever-so-slightly.

The October through December quarter is always the biggest one for Apple thanks to new iPhones and the holiday shopping season. With sales of goods across the board expected to drop because of the worldwide recession, it would be wise for Apple to delay the launch of some, but not all, of the iPhone 12 models until early 2021. More specifically, the new iPhone Pro series should be held until the economy improves, in this case, not until early next year.

The December quarter is going to be a challenging one for Apple and other companies. Under this scenario, the company can spread the bulk of its yearly iPhone sales across two quarters, not one, and start 2021 on a positive note. In the coming weeks, further leaks will give us a better idea when specific iPhone 12 models will get released. Until then, we can keep guessing.

Do you think Apple should delay the launch of all or some of the iPhone 12 models? Let us know below.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.