When it comes to Apple leaks and rumors, there are a few people and publications that we listen to above the rest. Mark Gurman has been on this short list for a long time now. When it comes to supply chain news, it’s Ming-Chi Kuo, followed by Digitimes a few steps behind. Over the last year, Jon Prosser has emerged as a new Apple leaker with a track record worthy of trusting. Yesterday he brought some news that most of us have been waiting for- iPhone and iPad announcement and order date information.
Here is Prosser’s Tweet with proposed fall dates for Apple hardware:
New, adjusted Apple dates!
Apple Watch & iPad
– Via press release
– Week 37 w/c Sep 7
iPhone 12 event
– Week 42 w/c Oct 12
iPhone 12 devices
– Preorders week 42 w/c Oct 12
– Shipping week 43 w/c Oct 19
iPhone 12 Pro devices
– Preorder and shipping in Nov (no exact date yet)
First off, if true, this leak confirms earlier information from several sources that Apple is splitting the iPhone 12 release up due to various design and production delays due to the impact of SARS-CoV-19. He clarifies the earlier rumors with some actual dates for the first round in October.
I will say that, as a Pro Max user for life, I’m a little concerned that there’s not a date in November. That tells me things are potentially still in flux there. Hopefully Apple can pull things together and get the Pros out the door before Black Friday. If not, that will surely have a negative impact on sales.
The second notable item on this schedule is that Prosser shows the Apple Watch being announced along with an iPad ahead of the iPhone during the week of September 7. This is the first time we’ve seen a prediction of the Watch being separated from the iPhone release this year. That is a notable departure from the last two Watch releases that again, is almost certainly due to the global pandemic.
However, while this is new information, it definitely makes sense considering how late the iPhone may fall this year. I made a reading the tea leaves prediction (no sources here) a month ago that Apple would likely spread all of the hardware they have to release this fall out over two or three windows to keep things from getting lost in the shuffle and announcements from getting too crowded. As such, none of this comes as a big surprise to me.
It makes sense for Apple to go ahead and get the Watch out earlier, especially since it is likely to include new sensors that may be able to predict the onset of COVID-19 ahead of symptoms. The earlier the better for that. It also makes sense to pair an iPad announcement with with Apple Watch. Now we just need to know which iPad it is.
There were earlier rumors of an iPad Air coming this year, but a separate leak I covered a couple of days ago had that device pushed back to March of 2021. Still hoping that one proves to be wrong, but I have to admit that I’m losing hope. So this may just be a refresh of the base model iPad. If so, it will be interesting to see if the earlier rumors of a larger 10.8″ screen hold true, or if they were referring to the updated Air.
The other notable thing about Jon Prosser’s Tweet is what’s missing. He doesn’t mention several new pieces of Apple hardware that have either been long-rumored or that we know are coming in 2020. Apple has flat-out said their new MacBooks with Apple Silicon are coming out later this year. Later probably makes more sense than sooner and Apple will almost certainly have a streaming event for the iPhone, so the October announcement makes the most sense to me. I can’t imagine Apple releasing a new product this important without a little fanfare.
Then there is the laundry list of other Apple devices we’ve been hearing about for a year or longer now. There is no indication from Prosser when or if we might get the AirPods Studio, AirPower, AirTags or new HomePods. These are more minor products and they could potentially just show up in a press release. In fact, KomiyaLeaks predicted the AirPods Studio would show up on 8/19 along with the new iMac (oops) and two new HomePods in a Tweet a a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, it’s hard to put too much stock into this one since the Tweet was later deleted. However, just as the iMac showed up suddenly last week, any of these items could do the same, or be paired up with the Apple Watch or either of the iPhone release windows that Prosser has predicted.
Stay tuned, as it seems that leaks silly season is starting to kick into high gear. There will certainly be more rumors to come and hopefully they will start to fill in some of the gaps that still remain. There will also be some drama, as well.