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Yikes! iPhone 12 release date could be delayed up to 2 months

(Image credit: Jonas Daehnert)

The iPhone 12 may be unveiled in in September, but we wouldn’t expect the phones to be released that month. A new report says that the iPhone 12 is 1 to 2 months behind schedule due to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, Apple is “facing delays between four weeks and two months for mass production of the four models in its 5G lineup.” This is reportedly due to factory lockdowns and workplace absences. So how will this impact the iPhone 12 release date?

The good news is that Apple has been aggressive in cutting down delays, as the company and its suppliers have been working overtime. As a result, it is now “less likely” that the iPhone 12 will be delayed until 2021. 

While other companies have been following fairly strict work-from-home guidelines, Apple’s hardware development team reportedly returned to the office last month. As a result, some deadlines have been able to be moved up.

Nevertheless, Nikkei reports that final iPhone assembly could be delayed until “early October.” This is because there are still many test still going on and, surprisingly, final designs “have not yet been locked down.”

Apple has reportedly reduced the number of orders for 5G iPhones from 100 million to 80 million due to market demand. However, the company is preparing to ramp up orders for older phones, including the iPhone XR, iPhone 11 and iPhone SE.

The Nikkei report recaps what we’ve heard previously — that Apple plans to release three screen sizes for the iPhone 12: 5.4 inches, 6.1 inches and 6.7 inches. Both the iPhone 12 Max and iPhone 12 Pro would have a 6.1-inch display, while the regular iPhone 12 will feature a 5.4-inch panel and the iPhone 12 Pro Max will be 6.7 inches.

Nikkei says that only the top-end iPhone 12 will have mmWave 5G technology, which we presume means both iPhone 12 Pro devices. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max will support only sub-6GHz %G, which has longer range but less speed than mmWave.

The only thing for sure right now is that the iPhone 12's release date is very much a moving target. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.