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Maybe it's okay if the iPhone 12 is late

Tim Cook at the iPhone 11 Pro event
Tim Cook at the iPhone 11 Pro event (Image credit: Apple)

The world has changed perhaps forever because of an enemy we can't see with the naked eye. In a typical year, Apple would have just celebrated the arrival of spring with one of the company's signature special events. Soon, thousands would have flocked to California for the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), followed by the anticipated arrival of an all-new iPhone this fall.

In March 2020, things aren't anywhere near normal or ordinary. And they probably won't be in June or even September.

It's because of this uncertainty, Apple's best move might be to "delay" the launch of an expensive new iPhone in 2020.

There's nothing wrong with the iPhone 11. More importantly, with unemployment rising, now is not the best time for the company to release a new device intended for the masses. Instead, the company should use its first online WWDC conference to announce splashy updates for iOS, iPadOS, and other systems. Then, when this crisis (finally) ebbs, Apple should launch the iPhone 12 in 2021.

I understand Apple just released a new iPad Pro. However, the line hadn't been updated in nearly two years, so a refresh was justified. Same too for the 2020 MacBook Air, which includes the company's well-received new Backlit Magic Keyboard.

The rumors suggest the next iPhone will feature 5G cellular and perhaps the same LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology found in this year's iPad Pro models.

5G doesn't sound all that important right now, especially in cities where the technology has been launching first. These are many of the same locations where the coronavirus is most prevalent and where public areas like Central Park in New York City are currently serving as hospitals. And LiDAR, which works fabulously for AR, seems highly unnecessary, especially in a world where most people can't even leave their homes.

The lost year

Just three months in, it's clear 2020 isn't going to be the best year of our lives or anything close to it. The Olympics have now been postponed until 2021, and it's increasingly likely other celebrated events around the world will also not happen until next year. The arrival of a new iPhone is always special. Given where things stand, Apple should burden the iPhone 12 with the 2020 label, either. What say you?

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.

  • I was just thinking the same thing. Why bother. On the flip side, this may all be over in a month or five. At which point, the october release would still be fine. But, I do agree that just wait, make it a better phone for 21. My 8 still works amazing so, im still good.
  • Maybe it's okay if the iPhone 12 is late or delayed until next year.
    But saying Apple shouldn't release iPhone in this year is a weird statement.
    But why though? Because not many people will buy new iPhone this year, so might as well not sell it?
    Are you suggesting any time similar pandemic happen in the future, Apple shouldn't release new phone? Or just for this year, because the Olympic has been postponed?
  • NO!!!! I need an upgrade this year and I am not going to be stuck with an 11 for two years.
  • If it's being delayed to ensure that it releases without faults and without being rushed, sure. If it's being delayed just because everyone's staying indoors, that doesn't really make any sense. Plus, the laws are different in each country, I can still go out my house for a walk, so I could still make use of the 5G and LiDAR scanner.