Apple's world saw some pretty interesting developments in the first half of the year, both in resurrecting old glory with the iPhone SE
, and introducing new devices in the iPad Pro
line. The real heavy-hitters, however, Apple has lined up for the fall, in the shape and form of its first 5G iPhone 12
and, potentially, new AirPods
For the iPhone 12 series
, Apple will apparently introduce a new metal midframe shape coupled with a different back panel than what we have now, and a brand new 5.4" form factor. When you add the 5G modem, the 5nm apple A14, and the potential for Lidar cameras on the back of the Pro models, the excitement is palpable.
Unfortunately, it seems that we will have to wait for the first iPhone 12 5G review, according to the Cowen investment bank analysts who wrote in a memo
to clients that the launch may be postponed with a full two-month period.
Apple iPhone 12 5G, Pro and Max may launch just for Black Friday 2020
Probing their supply chain sources, the analyst now expect that both the Apple iPhone 12 release and announcement may be pushed back significantly by up to two months. Thus, instead of an event in the middle of September, we could have one in mid-October, or a launch in late November, just in time for Thanksgiving and the Black Friday start of the shopping season on the 27th.
Still, we've heard speculation stretching all the way to December release for the 5G US models, so November seems like a safe middle ground as far as iPhone 12 family delays are concerned. The Cowen analyst memo argumentation for their late iPhone 12 launch delay predictions read are based on the component shipments and assembly pace so far:
June ’20 iPhone build estimate remain unchanged at 35M units (-5% Q/Q, -13% Y/Y) as the production supply chain has by and large recovered to normal output rates. However, downstream end demand visibility remains the biggest uncertainty at this time.
Our C2Q Apple sell-in shipment forecast is 30M units. We note that the latest generation of iPhones, including the recently launched 2nd generation iPhone SE, is expected to comprise ~77% of the overall C2Q build mix similar to C1Q. The preliminary outlook for C3Q builds is around 46M units (+31% Q/Q, -2% Y/Y) and compares to the prior low-40M view and our sell-in forecast of 40M. We think a 40M+ shipment in C3Q would be a positive for sentiment in AAPL shares.
Our field work suggests builds for the new iPhone SE will rise from 6M in C2Q to 8M in C3Q. We believe total SE builds for the year are tracking to 25M.
Our latest checks also suggest there will be four devices that will succeed the current three in the 11 family (11/Pro/Max) and all will support 5G wireless. We also anticipate the future iPhone ’12’ family of products will launch around C4Q20; a shift in the timing by a month or two is not material in the long term.
Hopefully, by release time the retail traffic will be back up to normal, unless there is a second pandemic wave in time for flu season that could affect carrier and Apple Store availability
again, as they just started to slowly reopen following the new coronavirus lockdown guidelines.
In any case, the analysts from investment firm Morgan Stanley
are also not holding their breath for huge 5G iPhone sales in the last quarter. They chalk it off to the belated launch and the precarious demand situation, at the same time predicting that sales would take off in earnest during the first quarter of next year.
5G iPhone 12 sales forecast