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iPhone 14 launch on track for mid-September

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Apple will unveil the iPhone 14 series in mid-September during a media event that will be announced several weeks from now. The iPhone 14 launch window seems certain now that Apple has released its earnings report for the June quarter. That’s because Apple did not warn investors and buyers that the regular launch schedule for the next iPhone will see any pandemic-related delays.

Apple’s launch schedule and the pandemic

To understand why the iPhone 14 seems so certain, you must remember how the pandemic impacted Apple’s iPhone launch schedule in the past couple of years.

Before COVID-19, we took mid-September iPhone launch events for granted. Apple will announce the newest iPhones in the second week of September. Most of the new devices would be available for preorder the first Friday after the keynote. The iPhone would then ship to buyers and launch in stores the following Friday.

Close-up of Apple’s rumored pill-and-hole notch replacement for the iPhone 14 Pro. Image source: Front Page Tech

The pandemic brought lockdown measures that impacted the supply chain and logistics. It didn’t spare Apple’s well-oiled operations machine. That’s why Apple announced during the June 2020 earnings quarter that the new iPhone would be delayed. The announcement dropped in July 2020, about two years ago.

Apple launched the iPhone 12 series in mid-October 2020. Two devices shipped right after the launch event, and two needed a few weeks longer to reach consumers.

When Apple did not warn investors and consumers about an iPhone 13 launch delay last July, it was clear that the new phones would drop in the middle of September 2021. Despite the continued strain, Apple held its launch keynote on time, and all four iPhone 13 models shipped to buyers by the end of last September.

When will the iPhone 14 launch take place?

When presenting its financial performance for the June 2022 quarter, Apple did not provide any earnings guidance for the September quarter. That’s in line with other earnings reports during the pandemic. But, like in 2021, Apple did not mention an iPhone launch delay.

We saw plenty of reports about lockdowns in China this spring. The country continues to roll out such restrictions to fight the new waves of infection.

These lockdowns impacted the production of parts and goods, including the iPhone 14 supply chain. We’ve seen worries about iPhone 14 release date delays since then. The new 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus/Max seems to be the only iPhone 14 flavor to risk shipping delays.

But even if one or more iPhones can’t make the expected late September release date, we still expect Apple to unveil the iPhone 14 on time. That’s because Apple made no mention of a delay. The company would have likely said something if launch delays were on the table.

The newest iPhones only sell for about a couple of weeks during Apple’s September quarter. But that’s enough to add billions to Apple’s bottom line for that three-month period. That’s why Apple would surely warn investors and buyers about any delays.

With that in mind, we’d expect Apple to unveil the iPhone 14 series on September 13th. Preorders should start a few days after launch, on September 16th. The iPhone 14 phones will then release on September 23rd.

Some shipping delays are still possible

That’s not to say Apple isn’t fighting with iPhone 14 production issues. We’ve learned of such problems recently. A well-known insider detailed production issues concerning OLED panels, RAM, and cameras. But Apple has been able to shift manufacturing orders to other suppliers to make up for the missing quotas.

Moreover, rumors continue to say the iPhone 14 Plus might see delays. We wouldn’t be surprised if not all four iPhone 14 units were available to ship on release date. We’ve witnessed similar delays before the pandemic. The iPhone X and iPhone XR shipped weeks later than their counterparts in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The same could always happen with some iPhone 14 variants, but that’s just speculation at this point.


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