Illustration by Elias Stein

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We’re almost there. Investors have been anticipating the arrival of the first generation of


5G iPhones for years now, and the big day—Oct. 13—has almost arrived.

The basics leaked months ago: four new 5G-capable models, plus perhaps a few other hardware announcements. The really interesting questions, however, can’t be answered immediately—in particular, whether the new phones will drive a “supercycle” like 2014’s iPhone 6 launch. The bulls think so. But global economic weakness and reasonable doubts about whether 5G wireless will dramatically change the consumer experience could hurt.

Deutsche Bank’s

Jeriel Ong laid out his expectations in a research note. Based on earlier rollouts, he estimates that the new phones could go on sale the weekend of Oct. 23-25. That would provide 10 weeks of sales in the December quarter, but only a week of sales before Apple announces September-quarter earnings on Oct. 29, which makes providing guidance difficult. (Apple hasn’t offered guidance since the pandemic began.)

Ong notes that investors expect two iPhone 12s and two iPhone 12 Pro models, with 5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch, and a 6.7-inch screen sizes. The two higher-end versions will have three back cameras and a 3-D lidar sensor “that could have augmented-reality applications and support new games and use cases.” The two lower-end iPhones will carry two back cameras. All of the new phones should provide 5G connectivity. He also expects AirPods Studio headphones to launch soon, and possibly details on Arm-processor based Macs, and discounted services bundles for new iPhone buyers.

Next Week

Monday 10/12

U.S. bond markets are closed in observance of Columbus Day, while Canadian bourses are closed for Thanksgiving.

The Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank convene virtually this year. The conference runs throughout the week.

Tuesday 10/13