October 24, 2020
Still no iPhone 12. But we think we figured out when Apple will announce it

When is iPhone 12 coming out? We now know for sure


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The iPhone 11 at last year’s iPhone launch event.


James Martin/CNET

Editors’ note: We were right! The iPhone 12 launch will take place on Oct. 13. Below is our original prediction and analysis. 

Although Apple held a September virtual event (here’s everything Apple announced), those expecting iPhones were disappointed — the event focused on the new Apple Watch 6, Apple Watch SE and iPads instead. The announcement date for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Max and possible 12 Pro Max (or the iPhone 12 Mini?) remains up in the air. Note that Apple has not confirmed the names of the phones, but we’ll go with those for now. Our best guess, however, as to when Apple will announce the phones is either Oct. 13 or 14.

Before we explain why, note that Apple has not released any official information and didn’t respond to a request for comment. What we do know, however, is that the iPhone was definitely delayed “a few weeks” from its usual September timeline. Even before the company confirmed this back in July, we knew the COVID-19 outbreak forced suppliers in China to shut down or operate on limited capacity. This affected not only Apple’s inventory in September, but it will have an affect on sales, too. Apple also closed its US retail stores, though now some have reopened in limited ways.

Read more: Here’s how to install iOS 14 and iPad OS 14 tomorrow and how to prep your device now.


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Because Apple’s iPhone events usually occur in mid-September after Labor Day, “a few weeks” delay pushes us into October territory. That and, well, September already came and went.

As for why we picked a date in early- to mid-October, there are a few reasons. Japanese financial news outlet Nikkei Asian Review reported that Apple was starting production for its 5G iPhones in mid-September, meaning products are coming down the pipeline sooner than later. Apple will also want enough devices to move in time for the holiday season and Black Friday. Lastly, it’s in Apple’s best interest to pick a date where the likelihood of being swallowed up by even bigger news is low. Though no day in 2020 is guaranteed to be a slow news day, the US presidential election will be held on Nov. 3 and will really heat up in the second half of October.

That leaves us with the first two weeks of October and because Apple likes to hold its events on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, that gives us Oct. 6, 7, 13 and 14. It’s looking increasingly unlikely that an event could take place this week, since there hasn’t been an official invitation sent by Apple yet. That leaves Oct. 13 and 14, so that’s what we’re going with. 

Again this is just our educated guess. Apple has said nothing so far and lots of things can change on a dime (hello, have you met 2020?). Let us know in the comments below if you think these dates are likely or if Apple will choose another date altogether.



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