By now we are all used to Apple announcing its latest iPhones in September. You know the drill: at least two new models launched, sometimes three, which are the main models for a year until the next September when we see new ones launched to replace them (via MarketWatch). 

But in recent years Apple has bucked the trend slightly, including in March 2016 by announcing the iPhone SE. Then in 2017 it launched the iPhone 8 and iPhone X at the same event, with the XS and XR in 2018 and the 11 and 11 Pro this year.

According to an analyst at JP Morgan, Apple will stick to its September schedule for 2020 before splitting launches in 2021 – that’s right, two iPhone events per year.

Analyst Samik Chatterjee says that he expects “a strategic change in the launch cadence with the release of two new iPhone models in 1H21 followed by another two in 2H21”, citing his supply chain contacts as indicating this shift. He expects Apple to launch four new iPhones in September 2020 with a 5.4in, two 6.1in and one 6.7in model all supporting 5G networks.

This rumour contradicts the expected release in H1 2020 of the iPhone SE 2, a phone that is expected to have iPhone 11 internals but with iPhone 8 design.

Apple is unusual in the phone industry for only having one launch a year. Rivals such as Samsung, Huawei and Oppo admittedly release far more handsets at a huge range of prices, but this means Apple may be considering splitting its line-up to give customers more choice in the face of stuff competition.