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The iPhone 12 could be delayed until November

The iPhone 11. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A new iPhone 12 leak says that we may see a significant delay in the reveal of Apple's new iPhone. And it also explains why all the unofficial designs we've seen so far look so different.

Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech took to Twitter to relay what he's heard about delays to Apple's manufacturing operation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

As you can read below, he says that while things are returning to normal in the supply chain, the damage has already been done, and we'll see the iPhone 12 in October or November instead of the normal September.

He explains that while the iPhone 12 is still pencilled in for mass production in May, it's not going to be ready in time for Apple's usual September launch. This is because Apple isn't sending its American executives over to China to approve the final design due to travel bans put in place in order to prevent exposure to infection. This means that the prototyping stage may not yet be complete and that Apple is already two months behind schedule.

Because there is not a final design yet, Prosser explains, the renders and images you see around the internet are based on various different prototypes all blended into one design as chosen by the artist. It explains why there is so much variation between them, but also means that we're unlikely to have seen one that's particularly close to the real phone we'll see later this year.

Based on the iPhone 12 leaks and rumors thus far, Apple plans on releasing four iPhone 12 models this fall. There will likely be two regular iPhone 12 devices with 5.4 inch and 6.1 inch sizes, and there may be two iPhone 12 Pro units that come in 6.1 and 6.7 inch sizes. All four iPhone 12 handsets will reportedly offer 5G connectivity, a fast new A14 Bionic chip and improved cameras.

The biggest differences between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro will likely be the displays (LCD vs OLED) and the cameras. Only the iPhone 12 Pro is expected to feature a telephoto lens plus a new time-of-flight sensor, similar to the LiDAR scanner on the new iPad Pro.

This isn't the first time we've not had an iPhone make its expected debut date. As Prosser points out, the iPhone X, released in 2017, was announced in September, but only hit store shelves in early November. Assuming Apple will still hold its annual iPhone event at the same time this year, this could well happen again for the iPhone 12.