Release Date Could Be Impacted by COVID-19, Upgrades Shouldn’t Be

Generic iPhone image

Apple has released a new and improved iPhone every year since 2007, but that streak is in jeopardy in 2020 due to COVID-19. Photo by Pixabay (creative commons).

  • The 12th edition of the iPhone was originally scheduled for release in September 2020
  • The coronavirus pandemic will likely push that date back, potentially until 2021
  • See SBD’s updated odds on the 2020 iPhones, including potential features

Tech giant Apple has not been immune to the impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic, far from it. With many of its devices manufactured in China, Apple’s production line effectively ground to a halt for a period of time in February as the virus devastated the country. While it’s largely back up and running, retail stores in the United States remain closed until further notice.

Apple, which has released a new iPhone every year since the first edition in 2007, had originally planned to launch the 12th edition of its smartphone in September 2020.  The iPhone 12 was rumored to have a 3D camera, a massive 6.7″ screen option, and be 5G compatible. In other words, 2020 was going to take iPhones to new heights.

Now, instead of consumers worrying about new features, the bigger concern is when  the iPhone 12 will be available.

2020 iPhone 12 Odds and Props

Proposition SBD’s Odds
Apple releases iPhone 12 in 2020 1/2
Over/Under release date of iPhone 12 Dec. 1, 2020
iPhone 12 has a 3D camera 1/9
iPhone 12 is 5G compatible 1/7
iPhone 12 Pro has a 6.7″ screen option 1/6
iPhone 12 still has a “notch” 1/3

Odds as of Apr. 9, 2020.

No 2020 iPhone a “Worst-Case” Scenario

According to Business Insider, delaying the iPhone 12 release until 2021 is Apple’s “worst-case” scenario. In normal times, that descriptor would indicate it’s an unlikely outcome. But these are not normal times. Coronavirus has led to myriad “worst-case” scenarios unfolding across the globe.

With Apple’s production line returning to a state of normalcy in China, the odds still favor the iPhone 12 coming out this calendar year, though not by much.

It’s almost certain that the release date will be pushed back. Apple was slated to release a low-cost iPhone option in March 2020. It was pushed back to April. It’s safe to assume all of Apple’s original 2020 dates are going to be similarly impacted.

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Will Features Be Impacted?

Some good news for iPhone users is that the delay does not appear to be impacting the iPhone 12 upgrades.

By all accounts, it is still going to be 5G compatible, it’s still going to have a 3D camera, it’s still going to have an OLED screen, and it’s still going to come in the widest range of size options ever.

Notches Remain

Some early rumors about the iPhone 12 indicated the notch (i.e. the black strip at the top that contains the selfie camera, but precludes a full edge-to-edge screen) may be eliminated entirely.

That does not appear to be coming to fruition. The latest news is that all four iPhone 12 models (5.4″ iPhone 12, 6.1″ iPhone 12, 6.1″ iPhone 12 Pro, and 6.7″ iPhone 12 Pro Max) will have a “smaller notch”. A smaller notch is still a notch.

 

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