Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in his latest investor note claims that the shipment of 5G iPhones with mmWave will be lower than expected due to the ongoing pandemic.
Apple is expected to add 5G to its entire iPhone 12 lineup this year. However, only the high-end Pro models are expected to feature support for the more expensive mmWave 5G. Kuo says that due to the pandemic, the rollout of mmwave 5G BTU (Base Station Units) has been lower than expected. In turn, this will affect the sales of the mmWave iPhones for 2020 and 2021 with Apple shipping about 4-6 million and 25-35 million units of 5G iPhones with mmWave connectivity, respectively. This will be lower than the market estimates of 10-20 million and 40-50 units for the two years.
We believe that due to the impact of [the health crisis], the global 5G millimeter wave base station installation is lower than expected. Therefore, we estimate that the shipments of millimeter wave iPhones in 2020 and 2021 will be about 4-6 million and 25-35 million, respectively, which is lower than the market consensus of 10-20 million and 40-50 million units.
A DigiTimes report from June this year had also suggested that shipments of mmWave 5G iPhones will be affected due to the ongoing pandemic.
Rumors suggest Apple will launch four new iPhone 12 models this year, including the 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch iPhone 12. There will also be the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max that are expected to offer more premium features including stainless steel edges, triple-camera setup, and more. The Pro models will see a delayed launch, with the regular iPhone 12 models launching first.
Apple is expected to launch iPhones with mmWave connectivity only in markets where mmWave 5G has been rolled out. This includes markets like Australia, Japan, the U.K., and the United States. In other markets where 5G networks are yet to roll out, Apple will launch the devices with the 5G hardware disabled.