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iPhone 12 release date leak — these two models are launching first

iPhone 12
(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

If you’ve got your eye on the 5.4-inch iPhone 12, then we have some bad news as the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max and 6.1-inch iPhone !2 Pro Max are set to go on sale first. 

According to DigiTimes' supply chain sources (via 9to5Mac) the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup will arrive in two stages. The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 models will lead the charge, with the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max coming after. 

DigiTimes has reported that this will be the case before but the new report lends further credence to the rumor. What we don’t know is when the new iPhones will launch and subsequently be released. Nor do we know the gap between the release of the 6.1-inch models and the other sizes. 

Currently, it’s looking like the iPhone 12 range will be revealed and released in October, with chaos caused by the coronavirus supposedly causing Apple to push back its flagship phone launch from the regular September spot into October. However, Apple could still announce the iPhone 12 range in September but then release the phones in October. There’s even a rumor that the iPhone 12 Pro Max might be released in November as Apple works to equip it with a 120Hz refresh-rate display. 

Taking this staggered approach would give Apple both an entry-level and high-end take on the iPhone 12 for the range’s first release. The 6.1-inch handsets are likely to be the ones that sell the most, as the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 could be for people who prefer small phones, while the 6.7-inch handset will likely target power users who want a big phone without needing to opt for a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

While we use the terms entry-level and high-end, the quartet of iPhone 12 handsets will be flagship devices. All four are expected to use the latest A14 Bionic chip and have OLED displays.

All four phones are also expected to have a new design that harkens back to the flat edges of the iPhone 4. But while the iPhone 12 and 12 Max will have a pair of rear cameras, the Pro models are expected to add a telephoto lens and a LiDAR sensor, as seen on the iPad Pro 2020

Expect Apple to have carried out some software wizardry to improve the photography capabilities of the iPhones. Don't expect the display notch to have shrunk, though.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer is U.K. Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.