Every so often, non-Apple executives drop hints about release dates for upcoming Apple devices. This time the executive is SoftBank President Ken Miyauchi, who may have accidentally hinted at the iPhone 11 launch date.
According to a translation of a post from Macotakara by Google Translate, Atsushi Ishikawa said during SoftBank’s first-quarter earnings results briefing that the iPhone will be released in mid-September. He then asked Miyauchi how he would feel until Sept. 30.
In response, Miyauchi said, “Honestly, what I’m going to do about 10 days. I don’t know when the iPhone will come out because no one knows yet, but in any case, I thought that this would somehow feel strange. Well, if possible, I put it ahead. I think it would be better, after 10 days it would become unbundled, and until then it would be strange to be a bundle.”
In order to really understand what he was talking about, you have to understand changes Japan is making in its laws governing the telecommunications industry. Redmond Pie explains that starting Oct. 1, mobile carriers in Japan will be required to separate their device and data plans, ending the bundling practices which typically pair flagship devices with expensive data plans.
In other words, Miyauchi was referring to the end of bundling in Japan because Sept. 30 is the last day flagship devices will be bundled with data plans. The question was basically about what SoftBank will do in the 10 days between the iPhone 11 launch date and the big change involving the end of bundling in Japan.
Based on a Sept. 20 iPhone 11 launch date, we would expect an announcement for the device on Sept. 10 or 11 with pre-orders going live on Sept. 13.
CNET is making a similar prediction for the iPhone 11 launch date, although its prediction is based on educated guesses rather than what Miyauchi said. The timeline does make sense based on past iPhone release dates. While a Sept. 11 announcement could also fit with Apple’s historical patterns, the company has tried to avoid Sept. 11 because news coverage typically focuses on remembrance of the victims in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Rumors about the iPhone 11 will undoubtedly continue until the announcement date, and we’ve already heard plenty of claims about this year’s line-up. One of the most persistent rumors has been the addition of a square-shaped bump on the back of this year’s model. The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max are expected to house a triple-lens camera in the bump, while the iPhone 11R is expected to house a dual-lens camera in the bump.
Other rumors suggest this year’s line-up could have a frosted glass back, a redesigned mute switch and some big upgrades to boost performance. Overall, the iPhone 11 line-up is expected to look very similar to the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. Based on all the rumors, it seems unlikely that Apple will have any surprises left to reveal when it announces the iPhone 11, 11 Max and 11R, which could lead to disappointing sales.