No iPhone 12 in South Africa – Distributor silent weeks after launch

More than six weeks after the launch of the iPhone 12, there is still no word from the local distributor of Apple’s products on whether or when the smartphone will be available in South Africa.

Apple officially unveiled the iPhone 12 range – its first line-up of 5G-capable smartphones – on 13 October 2020, after a month-long delay which was reportedly caused by a shortage of its new A14 Bionic chips.

At the time, the company said that customers in Australia, China, Germany, Japan, the UK, the US, and more than 30 other countries would be able to start placing pre-orders for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro on 16 October.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max would open on 5 November in the same countries.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro would be available in India, South Korea, and more than a dozen other countries from 30 October 2020, Apple said.

The latter date would align with the typical launch date in South Africa for previous new iPhones, but this has not been the case.

Previous releases

In recent years, information on availability and pricing for new flagship iPhones in South Africa was available within the same month as the original global unveiling.

For example, Apple first unveiled the iPhone 11 on 10 September last year, with official availability in-store in the US on 20 September.

The iStore subsequently also opened pre-orders and revealed local pricing for the smartphone on 20 September, only 10 days after the first announcement.

The smartphones would start shipping to customers only a week later.

In 2018, the Apple iPhone X range was announced on 14 September, with availability in US stores on 21 September.

South African pre-orders for this flagship were officially opened and pricing confirmed on 20 September, only 7 days after its reveal. Shipping started on 28 September.

By comparison, no details have been forthcoming on the iPhone 12’s South African launch after more than 40 days from its unveiling, which seems to suggest a delay has occurred.

iStore South Africa has already opened pre-orders and revealed pricing for Apple’s M1-powered MacBooks and Mac Mini, which were announced about a month after the iPhone 12.

Core stays silent

iStore South Africa is owned by Core Group, the local distributor for Apple products.

The reason for the delay is a matter of pure speculation, however, as Core has remained silent on local iPhone 12 launch details.

MyBroadband asked the distributor why there have been no updates regarding pre-orders or pricing for the iPhone 12, and whether the smartphone’s rollout has been delayed.

We did not receive any response to our query by the time of writing.

A report from Bloomberg has claimed that Apple experienced a shortage of supply in power management chips at the beginning of November, which would complicate its ability to meet holiday demand.

It was not clear to what extent this shortage would limit iPhone availability, however, or if this could be the reason for South Africa’s delay.

In addition, there is no official confirmation of a shortage from Apple, nor any indications that shipments to other international territories have been delayed.

It is unclear whether the iPhone 12 range will arrive in South Africa before Black Friday, and many avid Apple fans will be hoping it lands before the festive season.

Now read: Apple pays R1.7 billion for slowing down old iPhones

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No iPhone 12 in South Africa – Distributor silent weeks after launch