Apple is expected to release the new iPhone 12 line-up later this year. It has been heavily rumored that at least one of the models of the new smartphone series will support both, sub-6GHz and mmWave, 5G networks. However, TF Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo expects shipments of mmWave supported iPhones to be weaker than expected.
As per a previous report, the fastest 5G technology, mmWave will be used in densely populated cities and sub-6GHz will be available mainly in suburban and rural areas that do not have the same connectivity requirements as the cities do.
iPhone 12 shipments Expected to be Weak
In a research note seen by iMore, Kuo says that due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global installation of 5G mmWave base stations is lower than expected. Consequently, shipments of Apple’s mmWave 5G smartphone will be significantly reduced.
“We believe that due to the impact of COVID-19, the [number of] global 5G millimeter-wave base station[s] [will be] lower than expected,” Kuo writes.
Placing a rough guess to estimate the total shipment units, Kuo speculates 2020’s shipments may come up to be around 4-6 million, while 2021’s maybe closer to 25-35 million. In comparison, the market consensus-estimated shipments would be closer to 10-20 million in 2020 and 40-50 million in 2021. This claim contradicts Bloomberg’s report which states that Apple has asked suppliers to prepare for at least 75 million iPhone 12 units this year.
Apple’s 5G iPhone
Leading up to the release of the iPhone 12, it’s heavily speculated that Apple has been developing four models for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup. Based on previous reports, Apple is likely to announce a 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch devices, and a 6.7-inch variant. It’s currently not known which of these models will be guaranteed to support 5G networks.
Previously Kuo has said that the mmWave 5G iPhones would be supported in five countries including Canada, the United States, Japan, the UK, and Japan. While in some other countries, the tech giant may offer iPhones with just sub-6GHz connectivity. Sub-6GHz could also be disabled in countries that do not offer 5G or have weak 5G penetration, allowing them to connect only to 4G networks.
It is expected that Apple will announce the iPhone 12 lineup next month and reports suggest that the company may not actually begin shipping the new iPhones until the next month, in October.