Tim Cook announces the iPhone 11 at a launch event in Cupertino, Calif on Sept. 10, 2019.
“As you know, the last year we started selling new iPhones in late September. This year, we project supply to be available a few weeks later,” Maestri said on the call.
Apple wasn’t immediately available to comment on whether this means all new iPhones will be delayed or just certain models. Apple is expected to announce multiple models of iPhone 12 in varying sizes and shapes, like it did with the iPhone 11 last year.
Maestri didn’t expand on the topic, but Apple sometimes announces new iPhones in September and then sells them later. In 2017, for example, Apple announced the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. While the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus went on sale in September, the iPhone X wasn’t released until November.
Qualcomm suggested the delay was possible. In its earnings report earlier this week, Qualcomm said that it expects 5G handset shipments will be 15% lower year over year in the quarter ending in September due to an unnamed customer delaying a “global 5G flagship phone launch.” Apple’s new iPhones are expected to support 5G networks.
The Wall Street Journal said in April that mass production for new iPhones had been pushed back “about a month.” Susquehanna said in January that Apple’s decision to create its own antenna modules would delay the fastest 5G iPhone into December or January.
Bank of America said in March the 5G iPhone could be delayed due to the coronavirus. JPMorgan said Apple’s new iPhone could be delayed one to two months. And Nikkei Asian Review said in March that Apple was considering delaying its iPhone launch by “months” because of issues related to consumer demand during and after the Covid-19 epidemic.
TF International Securities’ Ming Chi Kuo, a top Apple analyst, said in April that he believes Apple’s 6.1-inch and 5.4-inch iPhones will enter mass production in September but that the larger 6.7-inch model wouldn’t be mass produced until October.
— CNBC’s Jordan Novet contributed to this report.