Apple says new iPhones likely won’t land until October this year

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iPhone 12 might mix iPhone 11 and iPad Pro designs
We're going to be waiting a little bit longer than usual for this year's iPhones.
Photo: Ben Geskin

The 2020 iPhones likely won’t arrive until October at the earliest, Apple said during Thursday’s earnings call.

“Last year we started selling new iPhones in late September,” said Apple CFO Luca Maestri. “This year, we project supply to be available a few weeks later.”

Apple reported record earnings Thursday despite the widespread economic and social disruption caused by COVID-19. The acknowledgment that this year’s iPhone models will arrive later than usual seems tied to supply chain restrictions and other problems resulting from the pandemic.

“Given the uncertainty around the world in the near term, we will not be issuing revenue and margin guidance for the coming quarter,” Maestri said. “However, we will provide some additional insight on our expectations for the September quarter for our product categories. On iPhone, we expect to see recent performance continue for our current product lineup, including the strong customer response for iPhone SE.”

2020 iPhones delayed until October

The 2020 iPhone delays are disappointing but not unexpected. With COVID-19 lockdowns in place, major supply-chain and travel disruptions gummed up the works for all sorts of manufacturing. Despite that, Apple reportedly will release four different iPhone models this year, with high-speed 5G cellular networking capabilities shaping up as a key selling point for potential upgraders. Rumors indicate Cupertino is working on two “regular” iPhones as well as two high-end iPhone Pro models.

As Cult of Mac previously reported, Apple already figured pandemic-related problems would delay this year’s iPhone launch until October. Varying 5G infrastructure in countries around the world might mean some international markets face even longer delays.

Maestri’s statement today makes an October iPhone launch look like a grim reality. However, production of the A14 chip that will power the company’s first 5G iPhones reportedly began last month.

Rumors and leaks indicate that at least some of the 2020 iPhones will receive a fresh new design similar to the current iPad Pro. This year’s iPhone Pro models reportedly will add a lidar sensor like the iPad Pro, too.

This breaking news story will be updated.