Apple's iPhone 12 Family Could Face COVID-19 Induced Delay According To Kuo

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If this were a normal year, Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 family of smartphones would be announced in early September and would begin shipping later that month. However, due to the complexities of developing a product and procuring components during the coronavirus pandemic, it appears that the debut and launch will actually be pushed back. 

This news comes to us courtesy of reliable Apple leaker Ming-Chi Kuo, who is giving his latest guidance on the iPhone 12, the iPhone SE and the alleged iPhone SE Plus. According to Kuo, the iPhone 12 will come in a total of 4 versions, up from 3 on the current iPhone 11 family. There will reportedly be at least 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch display sizes, although there is no indication how those will be distributed among the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro product families. However, we can likely deduce the 6.7-inch display size will be reserved for the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

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Due to the coronavirus, however, Kuo reports that the iPhone 12 family will experience a one-month delay in engineering verification. There is also another reported delay due to antenna changes made to the iPhone 12 to accommodate 5G mmWave support.

If this information is indeed accurate, 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch versions of the iPhone 12 could enter mass production in September, with the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max kicking off production in October. This could push Apple's actual iPhone keynote event to October, with devices perhaps shipping in November, at the earliest. 

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All iPhone 12 models are expected to include a 5nm A14 Bionic SoC (manufactured by TSMC) and a 5G modem (Snapdragon X55, produced by Qualcomm). The Pro models are likely to include the LiDAR sensor that was first incorporated into the design of the new iPad Pro, and it’s highly plausible that Apple will finally bring USB-C charging support to the iPhone, which would replace the 8-year-old Lightning port.

In other iPhone news, Kuo alleges that Apple has seen better than expected pre-order sales for the iPhone SE, which puts the A13 Bionic SoC from the iPhone 11 family into the body of the elder iPhone 8. Sales for the smartphone are expected to hit 14 million units (at the high end) for Q2 2020. There's also the possibility that a larger iPhone SE Plus (patterned after the iPhone 8 Plus) will make its way to the market, but not until next year according to the analyst. In fact, it's rumored that we might not even see the device until the latter half of 2021.