Despite the general decline of figures in the smartphone market, Apple has so far remained seemingly impervious to the effects of COVID-19. Products are not only launching on schedule but also selling well in contrast to its rivals. That streak, however, might not continue for long and rumors of delays for its iPhone 12 might actually have some truth to them, at least if Qualcomm’s subtle hints about its earnings can indeed be attributed to Apple’s first 5G smartphones.
Apple will, of course, still announce the iPhone 12 series, all four of them, in September as per its usual schedule. Availability of those new 5G-capable iPhones, however, might not happen until a month later if these pieces of information do line up. Although it’s uncommon for Apple to have such a wide gap between announcement and availability, it certainly isn’t unheard of either.
The latest “confirmation” comes indirectly from Qualcomm who just reported a partial impact on its earnings for the last financial quarter of the year covering July to September. That is due to a delay in the launch of a global 5G flagship phone. Given no other major flagship phone using Qualcomm’s 5G modems are expected after August, chances are it was referring to Apple’s iPhones.
The probably delay in the iPhone 12’s launch has been blamed on a combination of COVID-19 and last-minute changes to the phone’s internal component layouts. Due to travel bans and movement restrictions, not to mention lockdowns in Apple offices, it has been more difficult for Apple to not only implement those design and engineering changes but also to inspect their final output on the other side of the globe.
Qualcomm seems confident, however, that it is only a slight delay and that its own earnings will pick up in its December quarter starting in October. That suggests that Apple’s first 5G iPhones could start selling as early as October if no other unforeseen delays hinder it until then.