We're expecting the iPhone 12 announcement to take place in September, however there are claims the handset's release date might be as late as 2021, and a new iPhone 12 leak is giving us another possible release window.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is perhaps the most reliable source regarding information on upcoming Apple products, has said (as reported by 9to5Mac) that while there are four iPhone 12 products coming later this year, they won't all be released at once.

Kuo seems to think that the two smaller iPhones – the 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch models – will enter mass production in September, with a larger 6.7-inch device only getting that far in October. 

It's not clear what the fourth iPhone will be, though it's possible it's also a 6.7-inch device (which we'll get to in a moment).

The diminutive (by today's standards) 4.7-inch iPhone SE (2020) – launched in mid-April – went into production in mid-March. This would suggest, going by Kuo's statement, that the new iPhone 12 handsets may not be available until October and November respectively. 

Unlike the iPhone 11 range, which became available all in one go, it seems the new iPhone 12 models may be released in waves.

This wouldn't be the first time Apple has staggered the release of its iPhone line. Wind the clock back to 2017, and the launch of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X, to see the later arriving a few months after the 8 and 8 Plus went on sale.

What are these four iPhones?

There's not been much word, from Kuo or otherwise, on what the four iPhones will be, but we've got a few ideas.

Based on precedent, we'd expect there to be a standard iPhone 12 model as well as an iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. We've heard leaks about that latter phone, but that doesn't confirm the name will be used, because it was just provided by the leaker based on the iPhone 11 names.

The fourth device could be the anticipated 5G iPhone, which multiple rumors have stated is coming in 2020. We don't know much about the specs of this phone, or how it fits in the iPhone 12 range, but since Kuo only states three different sizes, it's possible the 5G iPhone will be the same size as the most top-end 4G device, perhaps 6.7 inches.

That would leave a curiously large gap between the phone sizes, with 0.7 inches between the small and medium devices and 0.6 inches between the medium and biggest, which is more of a gap than Apple has left in the past, but it's possible it's just trying to distinguish its devices more.

It's also possible this extra phone is the iPhone SE Plus, which we're been hearing about, and that would make sense with the 5.1-inch sizing. However that would leave the 5G iPhone mysteriously absent.

We'll find out more about the iPhone 12 range come September 2020, when we're expecting to see the handsets. Stay tuned to TechRadar before then for all the latest news, leaks and rumors.

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