Generally speaking, Apple currently only launches new iPhone models once a year, with the new handsets landing in September. But a report suggests the company could soon up the number of yearly models from three to four, and split them across two launches.
That claim comes from JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee, who, according to MarketWatch, says supply-chain checks suggest Apple will launch a pair of new iPhone models in the first half of 2021, followed by another pair in the second half.
This schedule could apparently become the norm for Apple going forward, with Chatterjee claiming it would help the company better compete with rival phone launches, which happen throughout the year, as well as allowing Apple to alter designs more quickly in response to market feedback.
Four phones, one launch
That of course is still over a year away, if it happens at all, but Chatterjee also makes some claims about 2020’s iPhone 12 range.
He claims that four new iPhone models will land in September 2020, one of which will have a 6.7-inch screen, two of which will have 6.1-inch displays, and one of which will have a 5.4-inch screen. He also claims that all four models will support 5G, and that the two highest-end ones will sport “world-facing” 3D sensing – presumably meaning a 3D sensor on the rear camera.
These are broadly all specs and features we’ve heard rumored before, but the claim of four iPhones in September is slightly at odds with other sources, which generally seem to think we’ll see three in September, possibly along with an iPhone SE 2 earlier in the year.
So if Chatterjee is right we might be waiting longer than expected for the iPhone SE 2 – that’s if this fourth September phone is the iPhone SE 2, because previous leaks suggested that would have a 4.7-inch screen.
If it were one of the four September models rumored here then it would presumably be the one with the 5.4-inch screen (since it’s expected to be a relatively compact handset), but that’s a screen size which elsewhere has been attached to the iPhone 12 Pro. It’s that second 6.1-inch screen that hasn’t previously been accounted for, but that’s surely too big for the SE 2.
So there’s a lot here that doesn’t tally with most rumors, and as such we’d take it all with a serious side of salt, especially as we’re a long way out from the iPhone 12’s launch, let alone Apple’s 2021 plans.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.