So now we know officially that Apple plans on hosting a virtual new product event on September 15th that won't include the new 5G iPhone 12 models. Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said after the release of the company's fiscal third quarter earnings report in July, "As you know, last year we started selling iPhones in late September. This year, we expect supply to be available a few weeks later." So what we should expect is a delay in the release of the new models from September to October at the earliest and early to mid-November at the latest. The delay is the fault of the global pandemic which shut down Apple's Asian based supply chain earlier this year.
The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Apple has managed to sharply reduce the effects of the delay to weeks from what could have been months. That has been calculated by the Nikkei after the latter learned about the latest schedule for mass production of the Apple 12 series. Mass production of the four new models will reportedly start taking place at the end of September or during early October. Usually, the phones expected to be launched in September are assembled starting in August which means that Apple is running behind its typical manufacturing schedule.
A pair of sources told the Nikkei that the length of the delay has decreased over the last two months so we can only guess how much later the release of the iPhone 12 line might have been had Apple not managed to cut that delay time. Still, it now appears that Apple's plan to produce 75 million to 80 million 5G iPhone units this year may not be achieved. Instead, Apple could fall short by one to two million handsets this year with the shortfall made up early in 2021. This information comes from two sources with knowledge of the situation.
We've pointed out several times that demand for the Apple iPad and other tablets has picked up because of the COVID-19 outbreak which has left many employees working from home and students learning from home. The versatility of tablets like the iPad have made them the perfect tool for times like these. Apple has boosted production orders for its tablets to meet demand which it sees as steady for the rest of the year. For the period running from September through December, one of the Nikkei's sources said that the tech giant has ordered 27 million new iPads to be manufactured. That equals the 27 million new and old iPad units that Apple had built during the second half of last year alone.
Apple iPhone 12 Max rumored to be the first of the new 5G models to be mass produced
Recent reports indicate that of the four new 5G iPhone models to undergo mass production shortly, the first to be manufactured will be the iPhone 12 Max. This unit reportedly carries a 6.1-inch OLED display and should be powered by the 5nm A14 Bionic chipset. 4GB of memory is expected on board the device with a basic storage size of 128GB. The rear camera module will feature Wide and Ultra-wide cameras. The latest rumor calls for the device to support sub-6GHz 5G spectrum. These airwaves cover great distances and can easily penetrate structures although they do not deliver super speedy download data speeds. The phone would be considered an updated version of the 2019 iPhone 11, the most popular smartphone in the world for the year to date. The iPhone 12 Max is expected to account for 40% of the 2020 production orders for 5G handsets that Apple has placed with its supply chain. In other words, Apple expects this model to be its most popular 5G phone in 2020.
The most expensive new iPhone model will be the iPhone 12 Pro Max which will sport a 6.7-inch AMOLED display, 6GB of memory, and a triple-camera setup that includes a telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. Apple will also equip the "Pro" models with the LiDAR depth sensor that uses Time of Flight technology to produce enhanced depth readings for AR capabilities and improved bokeh blurs for portraits. The 6.7-inch iPhone will reportedly work with both sub-6GHz 5G spectrum and the faster mmWave ultra-high band airwaves.