Yet another production issue runs the risk of stalling the iPhone 12's launch, and this one is all down to the camera.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a note late this week stating that the coating on the wide-angle camera of the 5.4- and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 models (the standard variants — not the iPhone 12 Pro series) has been cracking during high-heat stress testing. The purpose of this test is to evaluate the phone's reliability in harsh tropical environments, according to 9to5Mac (opens in new tab).
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Thankfully, it's possible Apple could come away from this one relatively unscathed; like with so many components, the company uses two suppliers for this part, and the samples provided by the other company passed the test without failures.
As a result, this hitch in quality assurance may not delay the iPhone 12 any further than it's already been delayed, and Apple might even be able to use this episode as a bargaining chip to negotiate a lower price from the firm that provided the faulty units.
A wave of bad iPhone 12 news
The other news surrounding Apple's next handsets hasn't exactly been good. First, Apple confirmed in a July 30 earnings call that the iPhone 12 range would miss a September launch by "a few weeks."
Then, this week we learned that the smaller notch — one of the phone's more highly-anticipated design characteristics — might not be in the cards for the final model, based on leaked images of a pre-production display unit from Twitter user Mr. White (opens in new tab). (The tweet has since been deleted, but MacRumors (opens in new tab) still has the pictures.)
And finally, just earlier this morning, we learned that it's sounding increasingly likely that the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max will miss out on displays with 120Hz refresh rates, leaving Samsung's new Galaxy Note 20 Ultra uncontested.
At the moment, it seems as if the camera issue the non-Pro models are experiencing won't keep the iPhone 12 out of our hands much longer. In fact, the iPhone 12 launch may be staggered, with the two 6.1-inch models in the middle of the range offered earlier than the cheapest 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and most-expensive 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max arriving later. Here's hoping Apple can stay on target in the home stretch.