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iPhone 12 bad news — release date may be much later than we thought

iPhone 12 render from PhoneArena
(Image credit: PhoneArena)

Apple’s iPhone 12 might not launch until late November, a report from Cowen investment bank has claimed, with the coronavirus crisis to blame.

We’ve heard various rumors and murmurings that the iPhone 12 launch could be delayed, potentially being pushed back from its normal September launch window into October. But this report, via GizChina, adds yet another month to the wait.

As Apple gets most of its iPhone components and manufacturing services from China, where COVID-19 was first identified and its earliest epidemics were located, it’s unsurprising that the pandemic is reportedly to blame for the iPhone 12 delay. Travel restrictions, factory closures, and closed borders have made it hard for Apple’s employees to work with others in China and get the iPhone 12’s production ship-shape for September and October. 

However, a month’s delay is arguably not a big delay for Apple. The company is still predicted to be making four models of the iPhone 12. It's just that Apple fans may have to wait a little longer before they can get their hands on a handset. “A shift in the timing by a month or two is not material in the long term,” the Cowen report noted. 

Apple is not exactly short on cash, so it can weather a month’s delay. And the Cowen report said that shipments of the iPhone SE 2020, Apple’s answer to the likes of the Pixel 3a, are predicted to be strong throughout the year. 

Speaking of Pixel phones, Apple isn’t alone in seeing delays to its phone production, as Google’s Pixel 4a has been reportedly pushed back to a July unveiling with an August on sale date. Google's cheap phone was initially expected to launch in May or June.

When the iPhone 12 does arrive it’s expected to come in four screen sizes: a 5.4-inch iPhone 12, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max model. All four devices will feature OLED displays and 5G connectivity, but the Pro models will reportedly feature fast 120Hz refresh rates.

You can also expect two rear cameras on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max, while the Pro handsets are expected to come with a triple rear-camera array complimented with a LiDAR sensor for better portraits and enhanced performance in iPhone AR apps.

The iPhone 12 Pro models are also expected to use Y-OCTA displays from Samsung, which fits the touch sensors layer into the display allowing for a potentially slimmer and lighter handset. 

We’ve still got several months to see if all of these rumors come to fruition. In the meantime, check out our iPhone 12 hub to see all the leaks in one place.

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.