iPhone 12 event could be pushed back to October

iPhone 12 render from PhoneArena
(Image credit: PhoneArena)

For the last seven years, when you wanted to see Apple unveil a new iPhone, you blocked out the second week of September on your calendar. But that seems increasingly unlikely this year, as Apple deals with the fallout of the global coronavirus pandemic and may push back the launch of the iPhone 12 as a result.

The latest word that a September launch for the iPhone 12 may be off the table comes from Apple leaker Jon Prosser. In a video that's largely focused on the latest leaks about Apple Glasses, Prosser includes an aside that Apple is having "internal talks of having that [iPhone 12] event in October." (Skip ahead to the 8:49 mark of the video to hear for yourself.)

Several sources, including Prosser himself, have raised the possibility of a delay for the iPhone 12 from its usual launch in September. In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had pushed back the production ramp-up on its new phones by a month, after the coronavirus outbreak had caused manufacturing disruptions in Asia where the iPhone is assembled.

Also in April, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo raised the possibility that the iPhone 12 Pro Max could ship later than the other three iPhone 12 models Apple reportedly has in the works. Pushing back the launch event would help Apple avoid the staggered rollout of different iPhone models, which is what happened for the iPhone XR in 2018 and the iPhone X in 2017.

There's also the possibility that a later iPhone 12 launch event could allow more reporters and analysts to attend in person, Prosser said, assuming that restrictions on large gatherings due to the COVID-19 virus are loosened by October. Many phone makers have had to launch their devices online this spring, and even Apple simply announced the release of the iPhone SE by press release last month.

If Apple does wait until October to launch the iPhone 12, it will be the first time since the iPhone 4s that a flagship iPhone hasn't made its debut in early September. Apple took the wraps off the 4s on Oct. 4, 2011.

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As for other iPhone 12 leaks today, a photo reportedly showing off the iPhone 12's logic board has been making the rounds on Twitter. It's not much — "the board does not provide us with many visual clues," MacRumors noted when it spotted the tweet — but it gives us something to look at between now and October when the iPhone 12 event might actually take place.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.