TAIPEI — All iPhones launched subsequent yr might be 5G-capable, together with Apple’s first revamp of its finances handset in two years, as the corporate appears to be like to spice up gross sales of a product that also accounts for greater than half of its income.
Apple won’t introduce any new 4G fashions subsequent yr, sources aware of the matter advised Nikkei Asia, and can as a substitute start promoting a model of its least expensive handset — the favored iPhone SE — that’s appropriate with the next-generation communication normal.
The corporate can even not introduce an up to date model of the iPhone Mini subsequent yr, after the premium smartphone with a smaller display screen did not catch on with shoppers, sources added.
The finances 5G iPhone is about to hit the market as early as the primary half of 2022, sources briefed on the matter stated. It will likely be powered by Apple’s personal A15 processor — the identical chip that can go into this yr’s premium iPhones — and its 5G connectivity might be enabled by Qualcomm’s X60 modem chip, they added.
Apple was a latecomer to the 5G race. Samsung Electronics, Oppo, Xiaomi and Huawei Applied sciences had all launched 5G-capable telephones by 2019, whereas the primary 5G iPhone got here out in 2020. The deliberate revamp of the iPhone SE subsequent yr will give Apple a full vary of 5G choices.
Like earlier SE fashions, Apple’s finances 5G iPhone will seem like a refreshed model of the iPhone 8 and have a 4.7-inch liquid crystal diode (LCD) show, somewhat than the extra superior natural light-emitting diode (OLED) show, in keeping with 4 folks aware of the plans. Apple used only OLED screens for its first 5G vary, the iPhone 12, launched final yr.
The iPhone SE, launched in 2016, has been a quantity booster for Apple when it comes to gross sales due to its comparatively low worth. The newest model, launched in April 2020, began at $399, whereas the iPhone 12 Mini — probably the most reasonably priced amongst final yr’s premium iPhone vary — was priced at $699.
Gross sales of the iPhone 12 Mini, against this, have disenchanted. Apple launched the 5.4-inch mannequin final yr however slashed production orders for the primary half of 2021 after demand was decrease than anticipated. The corporate has additionally scaled again manufacturing plans for this yr’s Mini mannequin in contrast with final yr, sources stated.
Subsequent yr, the iPhone Mini might be changed by a brand new model of the 6.7-inch iPhone Professional Max. This implies the variety of premium iPhone fashions launched within the second half of 2022 will stay fixed at 4 — two 6.1-inch handsets and two 6.7-inch ones — in keeping with a number of sources.
“It’s just about determined that there will not be a Mini subsequent yr, and there might be a comparatively cost-effective model of the biggest iPhone Professional Max as a substitute. Nonetheless, the designs for the detailed specs for the 4 new fashions subsequent yr usually are not but locked in,” one of many folks with direct data of the matter advised Nikkei Asia.
Along with shuffling its iPhone lineup, Apple has additionally been making ready up to date variations of different merchandise for launch within the second half of 2021 in hopes of tapping an anticipated financial restoration from the coronavirus pandemic. These embody MacBook Professionals and a brand new model of AirPods, the corporate’s standard wi-fi earbuds, which is able to begin manufacturing subsequent month.
Mass manufacturing of this yr’s new iPhones can also be set to start in August, consistent with Apple’s ordinary pre-pandemic manufacturing schedule. Apple might produce as many 95 million items between then and the top of January, although sources confused that such forecasts are topic to overview. For all of 2021, Apple goals to construct as much as 230 million iPhones, together with each the present and new fashions, an 11% progress from final yr, sources advised Nikkei Asia.
Apple declined to remark.
Jeff Pu, a veteran analyst with Haitong Worldwide Securities, advised Nikkei Asia that his company anticipated Apple might ship 231 million iPhones this yr and 240 million subsequent yr.
“We do not see revolutionary adjustments for Apple’s iPhones subsequent yr. However with extra fashions and higher product planning, and specs for subsequent yr, we do anticipate Apple’s iPhone cargo might a minimum of be consistent with the worldwide smartphone cellphone market restoration,” Pu stated.