This may be the first time in years Apple isn't launching a new iPhone in September — here's everything we know about when the iPhone 12 may be released


Apple's anticipated iPhone 12, which is expected to bring major upgrades like 5G compatibility, will reportedly debut in October, according to well-connected Apple reporter Mark Gurman of Bloomberg.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted Apple's usual testing process, pushing back mass production and causing the company to delay the phone's launch, according to the report. Apple is still holding an event on September 15— falling in line with its usual schedule — but that launch will reportedly focus on updates to the Apple Watch and iPad Air.

The new iPhones are expected to represent a significant overhaul to Apple's smartphone lineup, bringing a new design that resembles that of the iPad Pro, new size options, and support for 5G.

Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Here's everything we know so far about when we might see Apple's next iPhones.

The iPhone 12 announcement

Apple is reportedly planning to introduce four new iPhone 12 models in October, reports Bloomberg's Gurman. Google also typically unveils its new Pixel phones in October. Other details about Apple's launch plans are unclear, such as whether it will hold a virtual event similar to the one it plans to host on Tuesday. 

This would mark the first September since 2011 that Apple has not announced a new iPhone. The company has made a tradition of unveiling its new iPhones in September starting with the iPhone 5's launch in 2012. Before that, it announced the iPhone 4S in October 2011 and the iPhone 4 in June 2010.

The iPhone 12's release

Although Apple never discusses new products before they debut, it seems certain that the iPhone 12 will be delayed. Luca Maestri, Apple's senior vice president and chief financial officer, said on Apple's recent earnings call that the company is expecting supply of the next iPhone to arrive "a few weeks later" than last year.

Apple typically makes its new iPhones available for purchase roughly seven to 10 days after being announced, as was the case with the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro in 2019, the iPhone Xs and Xs Max in 2018, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in 2017, and the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in 2016.

But there have been two exceptions in recent years. The iPhone XR from 2018 didn't launch until October 26 despite being announced on September 12. The iPhone X also didn't debut until November 3 even though it was announced on September 12 in 2017.

If Apple announces new iPhones in October, there's a chance they could debut seven to 10 days later based on Apple's previous launch cycle.

But some models may be released even later, as Bloomberg reports that certain versions could ship later than the iPhone X did in 2017. The outlet previously reported that the low-end versions of the iPhone 12 will ship sooner than the "Pro" models. 

If all of Apple's new iPhones are indeed delayed, it makes sense that Apple would push back its announcement. When Apple announced the iPhone X and iPhone XR in September despite their later launches, it still had other iPhones to start selling  right away. If none of Apple's new iPhones are ready to hit store shelves in September, it seems plausible that the company would choose to wait. 

But Apple doesn't expect the delay to hurt demand. The company has reportedly ordered 75 million units of its next iPhones, according to Bloomberg, lining up with its orders for last year's launch.