Apple planning staggered release for new iPhone 12 range

Apple is reportedly planning to stagger the release of its new iPhones, according to a report from reliable insider Ming-Chi Kuo who has contacts in Apple’s supply chain.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and its impact on travel, Apple reportedly began the qualification process for this year’s models remotely, delegating tasks to ‘local employees’ who are close to the supply chain in China and other key manufacturing locations for Apple.

Because of these changes, the new iPhone 12 is reportedly now a month delayed, with engineering verification testing now expected to take place by mid-May rather than April.

Apple is widely expected to release four new iPhones this September, a successor to each of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max smartphones, as well as a new smaller iPhone to side alongside the iPhone 12 on the “cheaper” end of the price scale.

Kuo has now suggested that Apple’s new cheaper iPhone 12 models – in 6.1-inch and 5.4-inch chassis – will enter production in September, whilst the larger 6.7-inch iPhone won’t enter production until October, because it has “the most complicated” design of the four.

Apple might counter this delay by announcing all four new iPhones at its September event but staggering the release dates, something the company did with the launch of the iPhone X and the cheaper iPhone XR in the following year, owing to production and shipping delays.

The analyst has also suggested that the new mmWave iPhone 12 could be delayed further because Apple has had to make significant changes to the antenna’s design in recent weeks.

In early April, the company changed the design and the test lab cannot offer qualification on the device until it reopens, perhaps in May.

Apple has reportedly told insiders that, if the pandemic is not under control by July, the firm will ship up to 20% fewer iPhone 12 models than it had originally anticipated in January.

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Everything Apple, every day. This post was written by an AppleMagazine newsroom writer.