From the four iPhone 12 models that will be launched in 2020, some of these 5G capable smartphones might face delays in production, as per analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. iPhone 12 models that utilize mmWave technology and provide the fastest 5G performance, face potential delay risks.
mmWave iPhone 12 models facing production delays
The delay in production for these iPhone 12 models is attributed to changes in the antenna design that were made in early April. It seems that even though Apple has done well so far to avoid product launch delays caused by pandemic related supply chain slowdowns, future products like iPhone 12 still face risks. The lab that is supposed to provide qualification process services is closed due to COVID-19 pandemic, and if the situation does not improve until July, the shipments for mmmWave iPhone 12 models will decrease by 15-20%.
As per a note obtained by MacRumors, Ming-Chi Kuo said:
The mmWave iPhone will be pushed back because the design of the antenna in package (AiP) changes in early April. Additionally, the test lab is closed and can’t offer qualification process services. If the pandemic can’t be controlled well until July, then we think that the shipment allocation of mmWave iPhones will decrease to 5-10% from 15-20%.
Apple is still trying to get the ball rolling remotely, however, the process still means that there is an inevitable delay before iPhone 12 models go into EVT stage. Ming-Chi Kuo says that the low-end 6.1-inch and 5.4-inch models will launch on time due to mass production in September, while the higher end 6.7-inch iPhone 12 model might be pushed to an October timeline.
Apple decided to start the online qualification process remotely and delegate more tasks to local employees for new iPhone development. The change takes time; therefore, it had caused a one-month delay in entering the engineering verification test (EVT) for all new 2H20 iPhones. We believe that there is a likelihood that new 2H20 6.1-inch and 5.4-inch iPhones will go into mass production in September. The mass production of the new 2H20 6.7-inch iPhone will be delayed to October because this model’s design is the most complicated.
Considering the lack of 5G services around the world, we are not sure if this would be a massive issue. When we also take into note that Apple will be launching 4 iPhone 12 models in 2020, the company already has a lot of units to produce and sell. It is also unlikely that Apple will differentiate in their marketing as to which iPhone model uses mmWave for 5G, and which does not.
Apple could still announce all new iPhone 12 models in September, with varying pre-order and shipping timelines.