190911 iphone 11
File photo: Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing vice-president, presents the iPhone 11. The iPhone 12 is likely to look different from iPhone 11. Image Credit: New York Times


  • Virtual launch event set for 10pm Pacific time (9pm Dubai)
  • There are rumours iPhone 12 may not be launched on September 15, 2020
  • Specs includes 5G support, LiDAR
  • Possible 4-in-1 launch: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Max, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max 

DUBAI: The invites are out. But the upcoming Apple autumn launch, circa 2020 (aka pandemic year), is unlike any other.

First, it’s not a live event, with a live audience. Nothing like that. Rather, it's a virtual launch. Apple has announced that it will be holding the virtual event on Tuesday, September 15 at 10 am Pacific Time (9pm Dubai time). It will be live streamed on www.apple.com


What will be launched this week?

The event is widely expected to be focused on new Apple Watch models and perhaps the rumoured iPad Air 4 with slimmer bezels.

Will Apple unveil iPhone 12 on September 15, 2020?

MacRumors, a respected tech tracker site, reported that “it does look like iPhone 12 models won't be announced until next month (October 2020)”. However, tech Cnet, speculated the iPhone 12 will be launched alongside the Apple Watch 6.

5G CAPABILITY: A carrier leak supports rumors the iPhone 12 will arrive in late October with 5G. Pre-orders end on October 20, although there's no clarity on when the phone would ship.
5G CAPABILITY: A carrier leak supports rumors the iPhone 12 will arrive in late October with 5G. Pre-orders end on October 20, although there's no clarity on when the phone would ship. Image Credit: EverythingApplePro

So the California-based tech giant is capable of pulling off surprises. Now, the Apple iPhone 12 launch event is tipped to be hosted in October.

There's no official statement on what exactly to expect. In July, the company did warn investors that the next iPhone would be delayed by "a few weeks". A number of news outlets, including Bloomberg, have also suggested an iPhone 12 won't be out until at least mid-October.

However, the exact iPhone 12 launch date still remains unknown.

How many iPhone 12 models will be launched?

Apple is widely expected to introduce four new smartphone models, including the iPhone 12 — in 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch sizes and the iPhone 12 Pro — in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch sizes.

iPhone 12
The iPhone 12 is expected to be Apple's first 5G smartphone. Image Credit: Apple

iPhone 12 basic features?

Leakers suggest that all of the devices will feature OLED displays, 5G support, and a new flat-edged design. The Pro models are said to feature a LiDAR Scanner and a new dark blue color option.

LiDAR stands for 'Light Detection and Ranging' – is a well-known technology in the geospatial industry as a revolutionary tool for scanning and surveying. LiDAR is used in docking spacecraft, like the SpaceX Crew Dragon. It enables detection of objects and builds 3D maps of surroundings in near real-time, allowing the user to see objects as they are.

One of the latest leaks on the iPhone 12 cited the so-called “specifications sheet” – which shows the inclusion of a 120Hz high refresh rate screen on the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

A leaked email in the UK shows that pre-orders for the iPhone 12 end on October 20, 2020.
A leaked email in the UK shows that pre-orders for the iPhone 12 end on October 20, 2020. Image Credit: Macrumors

The latest leaks, however, from YouTuber Jon Prosser, suggests that neither of the four Apple iPhone 12 models will have 120Hz refresh rate screen. Prosse is one of tech's biggest leakers. If he's correct, the iPhone 12 Pro will lack one of the best features in Samsung's top phones: The 120Hz refresh-rate display technology.

That feature is already found in Apple's iPad Pro.

How is 5G support confirmed for iPhone 12?

The tech media have reported that US mobile carriers are preparing for the iPhone 12 with 5G support. Tweeps have also leaked signs that US mobile phone carriers are in the process of preparing marketing materials for the devices.

One “evidence” cited: a placeholder email shared by reputable leaker Evan Blass.

The email indicates that iPhone 12 models will support “faster” 5G mobile networks. It also suggests that pre-orders will end on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

iPhone launch dates

  • iPhone – June 29, 2007
  • iPhone 3G – July 11, 2008
  • iPhone 3Gs – June 19, 2009
  • iPhone 4 – June 21, 2020
  • iPhone 4s – October 14, 2011
  • iPhone 5 – September 21, 2012
  • iPhone 5c – September 20, 2013
  • iPhone 5s – September 20, 2013
  • iPhone 6 – September 19, 2015
  • iPhone 6s – September 25, 2015
  • iPhone SE – March 31, 2016
  • iPhone 7 – September 16, 2017
  • iPhone 8 – September 22, 2017
  • iPhone X – November 3, 2017
  • iPhone XS – September 21, 2018
  • iPhone XR – October 26, 2018
  • iPhone 11, September 10, 2019
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation) – April 24, 2020

Why is Apple delaying changes to upcoming iOS 14?

Last week, Apple announced delays in changes to its upcoming iOS 14 release. The changer would have hurt advertisers who target users that download free apps on Apple App Store, such as Facebook.

However, it was reported that on Wednesday (September 9, 2020), Apple seeded the eighth betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to developers for testing purposes — one week after seeding the seventh betas and over two months after unveiling the new software (on June 22-26, 2020).

Did Apple loosen App Store rules?

Yes. Last week, Apple adjusted its App Store review guidelines to loosen up restrictions on iPhone and iPad games that stream directly from the internet and in-app purchase rules.

The changes are relatively small. But they suggest Apple is listening to app makers that have complained about the company's stringent guidelines.

Apple is not changing its 15% to 30% fees taken from app downloads, in-app purchases and subscriptions, but the update (announced Friday, September 11, 2020) means that these fees will be applied in fewer cases.

The biggest impact may come in the relatively new market for streaming video games. For the first time, Apple will approve games that stream directly from the web, versus from content installed on a device.