Apple has a media event scheduled for October 13th that is expected to showcase one or more new iPhones with ultra-fast 5G wireless technology.
The event comes a month after Apple disappointed some fans with an event in September that showed new service packages but no new smartphone.
Apple, which usually unveiled new iPhones before the holiday season, said supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic have delayed its plans for product launches by several weeks.
A notice posted on Apple’s website does not contain any specific notice, but does include the message “Hi, Speed” ; in an obvious reference to the faster wireless networks that are being rolled out in many parts of the world.
“Across the board, we’re seeing a surge in production and demand for iPhone 12 models (with 4 new models) due to be unveiled at this launch event next week,” said Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities.
Mr Ives said he expected the new handsets to be in high demand from consumers looking to upgrade older models.
“With our estimate that there are currently 350 million out of 950 million iPhones in upgrade offerings worldwide, we believe this will result in an unprecedented upgrade cycle,” he said in a statement to customers.
The news comes after Google launched two new smartphones with 5G wireless functionality under its Pixel brand that showcase the Android mobile system but have a limited market share.
Google’s Pixel phones received positive reviews for their powerful cameras and built-in artificial intelligence, but failed to break the top positions in the smartphone market, which is dominated by Samsung, Apple and Huawei from South Korea.
Total smartphone sales fell 16 percent in the second quarter, according to research firm IDC, whose survey found Huawei leads the market ahead of Samsung, Apple and Chinese companies Xiaomi and Oppo.