The iPhone 12 is Apple's next flagship that will be unveiled later this year at the tech giant's annual September event that sees it debut its latest handsets for the masses. Last year's event saw the arrival of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, and this year, Apple is rolling out four models of the iPhone 12 to ensure it has a smartphone for every budget.
The new iPhones are usually made available a week or two after they've been showcased at the September event, with pre-orders opening up just days afterwards, but it seemed unlikely that we'd see the same pattern this year in light of the pandemic.
Recent reports speculated that the release could be pushed as far back as November as COVID-19 took its toll on iPhone 12 production, but Apple seems to have overcome the challenges presented by the global health crisis, if the latest leak is anything to go by.
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According to industry analyst Wedbush (via 9to5Mac), Apple's September event will go ahead as usual, giving us a look at the new iPhone 12 as planned - but not all four models of the handset will be available right away. In a note to investors, the firm said:
"The supply chain getting back to normalization ahead of expectations has been impressive and now ultimately puts Cook & Co. back in the drivers seat to launch this 5G cycle in its typical mid-late September timeframe with the smartphones hitting the shelves/website by early October."
Delayed or staggered launches aren't unheard of for Apple, with BGR pointing to the iPhone X's November release, and the October launch of the iPhone XR which came a number of weeks after iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max hit the market.
It's possible that Apple will launch the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max first, in September, and follow it up with the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max a month later, rather than postponing the launch of all four handsets and releasing them simultaneously at a later date.
Of course, these are just predictions, so we should take them with a pinch of salt, but with companies like Sony readjusting its strategy as it bounces back from the difficulties presented by the pandemic, it's no surprise that Apple has seemingly managed to do the same.