iPhone 12 may be released in stages — here are the models you can buy first

(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

The iPhone 12 release date is fast approaching, and if you've been salivating over the mid-tier iterations, you'll be happy to hear this latest news. According to a new leak reported by DigiTimes (via Tom's Guide), Apple is poised to unleash the 6.1-inch models first.

The next-generation iPhone will reportedly hit store shelves in two stages. After the 6.1-inch models have had their turn, Apple will release the entry-level 5.4-inch model and the high-end 6.7-inch version.

iPhone 12 two-stage release leak

This leak comes from DigiTimes' supply-chain sources who are churning out printed circuit boards (PCBs) for the next-generation iPhone. 

According to rumors, the first wave will be two 6.1-inch phones: the iPhone 12 Max and the iPhone 12 Pro. The former will feature an OLED Super Retina display, a dual-camera array, 4GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage.

The latter, the iPhone 12 Pro, is rumored to sport an OLED Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion technology, a triple-camera array with LiDAR, 6GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. The iPhone 12 Max, made of aluminum, may have a starting price of $749. The iPhone 12 Pro, which is expected to be made of stainless steel, may have an entry price of $999.

The second stage will reportedly involve the low-end model and the high-end model: the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. The former only has a dual-camera array and an OLED display while the Pro Max model seems to have the same specs as the iPhone 12 Pro except for its larger screen.

When will the iPhone 12 be released?

If the iPhone 12 chugged along as scheduled, the highly anticipated smartphone would have been released by late September. Due to the pandemic, however, Apple has been weathering some storms, including delays thwarting its supply chain and mass-production plans.

Jon Prosser, a leaker we've analyzed as one of the most trustworthy Apple insiders, revealed that the release date of the iPhone 12 is October 12. We won't know for sure if DigiTimes' two-stage rumor is true until next month, so make sure to take this leak with a large grain of salt.

To stay abreast of all the latest iPhone 12 news, check out our oft-updated iPhone 12 rumor hub.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!