Here's why you might be waiting a while for your iPhone 12

iPhone 12 Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Supply lines for the iPhone 12 are "constrained" according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has been speaking to investors and journalists as part of an earnings call. iPads, Macs and Apple Watches are also said to be affected.

"We're working really, really hard to remedy those [supply problems] as quickly as we can," Cook said, as per 9to5Mac. "But at this point, I can't estimate when we'll be out of that." Of course the busiest shopping season of the year is fast approaching.

Cook didn't go into any real detail about what was causing these constraints, but it's not hard to figure out – the coronavirus pandemic has affected manufacturing and transportation all across the globe, and not even the iPhone 12 can avoid that.

This year's iPhone models all make use of the new A14 Bionic chip which will need to be manufactured in mass quantities, while the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max also have new LiDAR sensors as part of their camera arrays.

The waiting game

Seasoned Apple watchers will have seen these problems coming: for months before the launch of iPhone 12 deals we were hearing how issues with the supply chain would mean the handsets would go on sale later than normal.

Even the iPhone 12 announcement was delayed – Apple usually shows off new iPhones in September, but this year we had to wait until October to get a look at the new handsets.

Only the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro have gone on sale at this point. Preorders for the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max open up on Friday, November 6 – set your watches for 5am PT / 8am ET / 1pm GMT (that's 12am November 7 AEDT).

Cook would only say "we shall see" in regards to demand for the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max, so we'd suggest getting in early if you want either of those phones. Shipping on the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro is currently 2-3 weeks if you're ordering direct from Apple.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.