A Major Supply Chain Report Claims that Apple's H1-21 could experience a huge increase year-over-year due to Strong iPhone 12 5G Demand
Tokyo's Nikkei Asia reports today that Apple plans to produce up to 96 million iPhones for the first half of 2021 (H1-21), a nearly 30% year-on-year increase, after demand for its first-ever 5G handsets surged amid the pandemic.
Apple has reportedly asked their supply chain to build some 95 million to 96 million iPhones, including the latest iPhone 12 range along with older models iPhone 11 and iPhone SE. The goal could be reached as long as shortages of key components remain in supply.
The tentative full-year forecast that Apple shared with its suppliers suggests it plans to build up to 230 million iPhones in 2021, including both old and new models, the people said. This would mark a 20% rise from 2019, though the target will be regularly reviewed and revised in response to any changes in consumer demand, they added.
An executive at a key Apple supplier told Nikkei that "The planned production for the next quarter and the following quarter have been decided and the outlook is quite bright. The iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max are especially stronger than we estimated, while the demand for iPhone 12 is in line with the forecast, but iPhone 12 mini is a bit sluggish."
Much of that improvement came from the iPhone 12 range -- Apple's answer to the 5G smartphone offerings of Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies -- which has enjoyed strong demand since hitting store shelves this quarter. The tentative production plan for 2021 is nearly on par with the record 231.5 million iPhones shipped in 2015.
Apple has already taken components earmarked for iPads and reallocated them for the iPhone 12 range, a move that affected 2 million to 3 million iPads produced this year, Nikkei Asia reported.
One chip industry executive told the Nikkei that "There are so many components that go into iPhones, not only core processors. Apple's adjustment indicates they now have enough processors to meet their production plan but are still chasing other needed components."
Jeff Pu, an analyst with GF Securities, told Nikkei Asia that most suppliers and market watchers foresee rosy demand for 2021, and iPhone shipments will "certainly" return to growth next year. Pu's company forecast Apple to ship around 220 million iPhones next year.
Lastly, the Nikkei reports that Apple is also preparing an aggressive production schedule for its high-end computers in 2021, including the MacBook Pro and iMac Pro and are working on a new Apple TV entertainment device. For more, read the full Nikkei Asia report.