Apple is ‘likely to stick’ to plans for a September iPhone event

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Yes, we will get our iPhone event in September. According to a supply chain rumor, that is!
Photo: Apple

Despite the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Apple is going to “stick to its plans” for an iPhone event in September, according to a new report.

That is despite the fact that another report today claims that orders for the five-nanometer A14 chips for the iPhone 12 are likely to be 50-60% higher than for last year’s iPhone chips. In other words, the next-gen iPhones face both increased demand and, for now, reduced supply.

Is there any truth to September iPhone rumor?

Supply chain-focused outlet Digitimes reported both stories. With regards to Apple sticking to plans for a September event, it notes:

“Apple is likely stick to its plans to unveil its next generation iPhone devices on a product event in September as it did in past years although this year’s production of new iPhones could be delayed until after June due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to sources familiar with the matter.”

As per the second story, on A14 chips, it notes that this reflects the higher levels of interest in Apple’s first 5G handsets. This will be the first time Apple has adopted a new generation of cellular network since 4G debuted with the iPhone 5 back in 2012.

Like any supply chain rumor, it’s worth taking the reports of Apple sticking with a September iPhone launch with a pinch of salt. A September launch would make sense, and has been the pattern for Apple for the past decade. However, it has yet to announce any such event, and won’t do until much later in the year.

Apple may be planning to stick with this date, but it almost certainly hasn’t definitely decided upon it. Right now, a lot is out of Apple’s hands when it comes to the impact of coronavirus. Since the source of the story presumably comes from the supply chain, it’s possibly that (if accurate) Apple is telling suppliers to stick to production plans as rigidly as possible to ensure Apple is prioritized.

But when will they ship?

It’s also important to note that, just because Apple unveils an iPhone at an event in September, doesn’t have to mean it ships immediately. In 2017, the iPhone X was shown off alongside the iPhone 8 in early September. However, it didn’t ship until November.

One year later, in 2018, the iPhone XR shipped one month after the iPhone XS. Other Apple products have had much longer lead times between announcement and shipping.

Apple could conceivably debut the iPhone 12 at an event in September, then ship at a later date. Or ship in smaller quantities and take longer for supply to meet demand.

For me, the bigger question mark is what happens with the iPhone SE 2. The iPhone SE 2 is rumored to ship in March. While it will be produced in significantly smaller quantities than the iPhone 12, its production has come right at the time of the coronavirus outbreak.