For the past several years, Apple has announced its new iPhones at the start of September and then launched them later that same month. Things might be a little different with the new 5G iPhone models coming this year, though.
Qualcomm today announced its fiscal Q3 2020 earnings and also hinted that this year's launch of the 5G iPhones might be slightly delayed. In its official earnings release, Qualcomm says that it expects an impact to its earnings per share in Q4 2020 because a year-over-year reduction in handset shipments due to the coronavirus as well as "a partial impact from the delay of a global 5G flagship phone launch."
Meanwhile, Qualcomm CFO Akash Palkhiwala told Reuters that he expects to make up some of those sales in the next quarter.
"We’re seeing a partial impact from the delay of a flagship phone launch. And so what we’ve seen is a slight delay that pushes some of the units out from the September quarter to the December quarter for us," Palkhiwala said.
Qualcomm's fiscal fiscal fourth quarter runs from July to September while the first quarter runs from October to December. So typically Qualcomm would see results from new 5G iPhones in September when Apple typically launches its new devices, but today's statements suggest that the Qualcomm is expecting the 5G iPhones to launch in the October-December timeframe.
Apple will be using Qualcomm chips in its new iPhones to enable 5G connectivity. And so while Qualcomm didn't come out and mention Apple or the iPhone in its statements today, many feel that the new 5G iPhones are what Qualcomm is referring to.
This isn't the first time that we've heard about a slight delay in the launch of the new 5G iPhones. A rumor from a few months ago suggested that production for the 5G iPhones' display panels would start 6 weeks later than normal, which would push the launch to October.
Plus, a Broadcom exec previously made a statement similar to Qualcomm's, saying that a "major product delay" at a "large North American mobile phone" customer will cause an uptick in revenue that it normally sees in a particular quarter to come one quarter later.
— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) July 29, 2020
Front Page Tech's Jon Prosser added to the rumors of a delayed iPhone 12 launch today, saying that he expects both the new iPhones and iPads to arrive in October. Prosser has accurately predicted the launch timing of new Apple devices in the past.
Apple is expected to be prepping four new iPhone 12 models this year in 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch screen sizes.