Apple has asked suppliers to build at least 75 million 5G iPhones for later this year, roughly in line with last year’s launch, Bloomberg reported.
The Cupertino, California-based technology major anticipates shipments of 5G iPhones may reach as high as 80 million units in 2020.
Apple plans to launch four new models in October with fifth-generation wireless speeds, a different design and a wider choice of screen sizes.
Apple is also preparing a new iPad Air with an edge-to-edge iPad Pro-like screen, two new Apple Watch versions and its first over-ear headphones outside the Beats brand. A smaller HomePod speaker is in the works, too, the report said.
Apple and its manufacturing partners always enhance production ahead of the rollout of new iPhones each fall. In the summer of 2019, suppliers prepared components for as many as 75 million handsets. This year’s goal of 75 million to 80 million units is a bullish sign, the news report said.
Key assembly partner Foxconn has put up several notices on WeChat over the past month recruiting workers for its main iPhone manufacturing campus in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou.
Apple is seeing strong demand for iPhones, iPads and Mac computers from people working and studying remotely. iPhones generates almost half of Apple’s sales, and that often tops 60 percent in the holiday season.
Some Apple employees testing the new devices think that the new 6.7-inch screen is one of this year’s most notable improvements, the people familiar with the situation said. A few testers have also found that some of the current 5G networks are not improving connection speeds much.
Research firm TrendForce said mobile chip suppliers such as Qualcomm and MediaTek are starting to provide 5G solutions for mid-range and high-end smartphones. The share of 5G smartphone models in the total smartphone production is projected to grow to 19.2 percent for 2020. This penetration rate is equivalent to around 238 million units.
Apple will start producing four new models in the iPhone 12 series, which are equipped with 5G capabilities. The BOM costs of the iPhone 12 models are significantly higher compared with the models in the previous series because of the 5G support, TrendForce said in its August 2020 report.
Apple has decided to sell the upcoming iPhones without accessories such as wired earphones, power adapter, etc. to cut costs and stabilize retail.
Recent orders by the Donald Trump administration barring U.S. businesses from carrying out transactions with TikTok, WeChat, and their parent companies ByteDance and Tencent may have an impact on Apple’s sales performances in China, TrendForce said.