Few things can delay an iPhone. It is Apple's single most important product; if Apple were to sell only the iPhone and nothing else, the company would still be one of the giants of the tech world. In other words, it's extremely important for Apple that new iPhone models come out on a regular basis.

But not even giants like Apple have been untouched by the coronavirus pandemic. Although the company has presented record results so far - despite a global crisis - its biggest test remains.

Autumn is usually a product-intensive period for Apple. Not only iPhone models will be presented and shipped to millions of customers, but also new Apple Watches and new iPads, as well as new accessories for all products. And the first Mac with an ARM processor is expected to arrive before we write 2021 in the calendar.

In this new world, Apple has recently confirmed that the iPhone 12 will be delayed. Apple's CFO Luca Maestri said during the company's quarterly report that the launch will take place a couple of weeks later than usual.

The announcement will probably take place as usual in September (it will, however, take place online, just like WWDC), but customers will not receive their mobile phones until October.

This is an unusual development - you could even say that it's dramatic. But it's not unique.

The iPhone XR, for example, was released weeks after the more expensive iPhone XS. And fans eager to get their hands on Apple's flagship iPhone X had to wait patiently until November 2017 before it could be purchased. Even a variant of the iPhone 4 was delayed: the white model took many months before it was available for purchase.

But here's the difference. Every previous time that Apple has delayed an iPhone, there have been other new models to offer buyers in the meantime. The XS was available for those who couldn't get the XR (although it was more expensive). Those who did not want to wait for the X could buy the 8. And as for the iPhone 4, it was available in black right from the start.

This time, the entire Apple iPhone 12 launch hangs in the air, even though Apple is trying to calm the anxiety among the company's investors by saying it's only going to be a matter of a couple of weeks.

Reports suggest that Apple is trying, as before, to make sure it has something to offer early-bird buyers, and may split the launch to achieve this. It may launch the two 6.1in models in a first phase, and then release the two other models (5.4in and 6.7in) a little later. This would ease the pressure on manufacturing and feels less disastrous than postponing all models.

In any case, there should be a new iPhone 12 to get your hands on this autumn, even if it is a little late. Apple is not going to settle for anything else.

Read all the later rumours and leaks in our iPhone 12 launch news roundup.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price. Main image by Svetapple.