6.1-inch iPhone 12 models could arrive before the others

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Apple will reportedly release four iPhone handsets this year.
Photo: Technizo Concept

This year’s iPhones will arrive in two waves, a report published Monday claims. According to Digitimes, the initial iPhone 12 units will be the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. After that, the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro will both ship together.

The report mentioning the two tiered launch focuses cites sources familiar with Apple’s plans. From the sound of things, this comes from someone in the SLP (substrate-like PCB) board supply chain. The report notes that:

“Shipments of SLP mainboards for the 6.1-inch models were kicked off in July and those for the 6.7- and 5.4-inch ones began in the second half of August.”

Apple has already said this year’s iPhones will be delayed slightly. However, it has given no further information about when its iPhones will ship — and whether, as rumored, it will be releasing multiple iPhone models this year. Today’s report backs up a previous Digitimes report from August. It does not give any indication of the actual launch date or the gap between the two releases.

Apple has staggered iPhone launches before

Apple releasing its new iPhones in two batches wouldn’t be out of the ordinary — even in non-COVID times. In 2017, Apple released the iPhone 8 in September, followed by the iPhone X in November. In 2018, Apple released the iPhone XS and XS Max in September, followed by the iPhone XR in October. While last year’s iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models shipped at the same time, this was the exception rather than the norm.

It would be slightly strange to see Apple ship half its iPhone 12 lineup and half its iPhone 12 Pro lineup, followed by the other half of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro at a later date. But given that (I suspect) the 6.7- and 5.4-inch handsets will prove most popular this year, it would continue Apple’s tradition of releasing the more anticipated iPhones later.

What to expect from iPhone 12

The 2020 iPhone 12 will reportedly introduce an iPad Pro-style redesign, 5nm A-series chip, LiDAR sensor, and faster 5G connectivity. It is quite likely not all of these features will be available on every handset. The LiDAR sensor, for instance, could be available for only the Pro models. Meanwhile, another recent rumor suggests that only one handset will support the fastest 5G connectivity.

Are you excited about this year’s iPhone refresh? Which models do you predict will be the top sellers in this upgrade cycle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.