Qualcomm hints 5G iPhones may be delayed; new rumor points to October launch

Unless something drastic happens, we are more than likely going to see new iPhones unveiled later this year. But it’s certainly starting to look more and more like September is not going to be when it happens.

The September expectation for the iPhone 12 lineup’s debut is based on history, with that particular month usually the one where Apple takes the stage and unveils its newest iPhones. However, the rumor mill has continuously pressed the idea that we may see a delay of some kind. Whether that’s due to parts Apple is including with the new iPhones, or due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic concerns, that’s been the theory for quite some time.

Here we are and Qualcomm is now weighing in on the subject, sort of. Today, the company announced its fiscal third quarter results for 2020 and actually dropped a pretty big hint that this year’s iPhones are going to be delayed in some capacity. The company said that it expects an impact to its earnings per share in the fourth quarter of this year due in part to the coronavirus pandemic.

But then it also added, “a partial impact from the delay of a global 5G flagship phone launch” will impact the fourth quarter earnings per share as well.

Next, Qualcomm’s Chief Financial Officer Akash Palkhiwala told Reuters that it’s possible Qualcomm will make up some of those missed sales in the following quarter. Here’s that bit:

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.

Qualcomm’s fourth fiscal quarter ends in September, so the company’s first fiscal quarter begins in October. If Qualcomm is expecting a delay, and an impact to its earnings per share in the fourth fiscal quarter, then it stands to reason that Qualcomm expects the 5G-equipped iPhone 12 lineup to be delayed beyond September. And no, Qualcomm isn’t going to go out of its way to name drop Apple in a moment like that, so this is just a very obvious hint.

This is where serial leaker Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech comes in. Prosser tweeted out today that he expects to see the “iPhone 12” and “new iPads” in October. Prosser has accurately predicted new Apple product launches in the past, so he could certainly be right on target with this one, too.

When we get around to seeing new iPhones, the rumor mill has been telling us we’ll see four new models in the iPhone 12 lineup: a 5.4-inch model, a pair of 6.1-inch variants, and a model with a 6.7-inch screen.