(Bloomberg) – Apple Inc. Suppliers are expected to build at least 75 million iPhone 5G devices later this year, roughly in line with last year’s launch, in a sign that demand for the company’s most important product is being disrupted in the midst of a global pandemic and recession.
The Cupertino, California tech giant predicts shipments of next-generation iPhones could reach 80 million units in 2020, according to people familiar with the situation. Apple is planning to launch four new models in October with 5G wireless speeds, a different design, and a wider choice of screen sizes, people who asked not to be identified while discussing the undisclosed products.
Among the comprehensive product update in the fall, Apple is also preparing a new iPad Air with an iPad Pro-like edge-to-edge display, two new versions of the Apple Watch and the first over-ear headphones outside of the Beats brand. A smaller HomePod speaker is also in the works. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.
Supplier prices rose to the Silicon Valley giant on Tuesday. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. closed. And LG Display Co. Up 2%, lens supplier Largan Precision rose 4.1%, and headphone complex Goertek Inc. By 2.1%.
Apple and its manufacturing partners are always ramping up production before launching new iPhones each fall. In the summer of 2019, suppliers were preparing to manufacture components for up to 75 million devices. The target in 2018 was similar, so this year’s target of 75 million to 80 million units is a bullish sign. Hon Hai Precision Industry, the main iPhone assembly partner, also known as Foxconn, has filed several notices on WeChat over the past month to hire workers at its main iPhone campus in Zhengzhou, central China.
While the Covid-19 outbreak has hurt the global economy and disrupted supply chains, Apple is seeing strong demand for iPhones, iPads and Macs from people who work and study remotely. IPhone revenue beat Wall Street expectations in the last quarter. The device still generates nearly half of Apple’s sales, often up to 60% in the holiday season. Apple shares are up 76% this year, making it the first American company to exceed $ 2 trillion in value on the market.
The four new phones will be divided into two basic models and two advanced models for the first time, and they will all feature OLED screens with improved color and clarity. The two regular iPhones will come in a new 5.4-inch and a 6.1-inch option, while the Pro devices will offer a choice of a 6.1-inch or a 6.7-inch enlarged screen, which will be Apple’s largest ever. Iphone.
All new smartphones will have updated designs with square edges similar to the iPad Pro, and high-end phones will continue to use stainless steel edges versus aluminum sides in the cheaper variants. The company is also planning a dark blue color option on the Pro models to replace the Midnight Green line for the iPhone 11 Pro for 2019.
Read more: Apple plans an iPad-like design for its next iPhone, the smaller HomePod
At the very least, the larger Pro phones will have the same LIDAR camera found on the latest iPad Pro, allowing augmented reality apps to better understand their surroundings. Among the most important improvements in the new phones is the new A14 processor, which improves speed and energy efficiency.
Some Apple employees testing new devices believe the new 6.7-inch screen is one of the most notable improvements of this year, the people familiar with the situation said. And the people added that a few testers also found that some of the current 5G networks don’t improve connection speeds much.
Apple plans to ship lower-end phones sooner than its Pro devices, according to people familiar with the amazing release strategy. During a recent conference call, Apple said the new iPhones would ship “a few weeks” later than last year’s models, which began shipping on September 20. 2017.
The design of this year’s iPhones and many of the features were completed before the spread of Covid-19, but the pandemic caused issues for final testing and delayed production startups for several weeks. While the new iPhones won’t ship until later, Apple’s iOS 14 software will arrive in September, people said.
Read more: Apple’s culture of confidentiality tested by remote employees
The new Apple Watch lineup will include a successor to the Apple Watch Series 5 and a replacement for the Series 3 that will compete with low-cost fitness equipment like the one made by Fitbit Inc.
The smaller HomePod will help Apple renew its entry into the smart home at a lower price, albeit with fewer speakers inside the device than the current $ 299 model. While the first HomePod’s audio quality was praised, consumers criticized Siri’s limited functionality and price. Earlier this year, Apple merged some of the Apple TV and HomePod engineering teams as it looks to renew its focus on home devices.
Apple is also working on a new Apple TV Box with a faster processor for optimizing games and an upgraded remote control, however this device may not ship until next year, according to people familiar with its development. The company is working on a new remote control feature similar to Find My iPhone that will make finding a TV accessory easier. The company’s other product under development is called AirTags, which is designed to locate physical items, which will be outfitted with a leather carrying case, Bloomberg News reported.
(Updates with market reaction in fourth paragraph)
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