Apple aims to ship 80 million 5G-enabled iPhones next year, claims a new report out of Asia today.
Apple typically ships between 75 and 80 million new iPhones each year, and according to Nikkei Asian Review, it plans to close in on similar targets in 2020 and exploit 5G as a key sales driver.
Apple is expected to launch iPhones next year in 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch sizes, and all three will feature support for 5G, according to Nikkei, corroborating previous rumors.
“It will be the first time Apple introduces 5G iPhones … There will be three of them and the company has set an aggressive sales target,” one of the people familiar with the company’s thinking said.
In June, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch models will support 5G, while the 6.1-inch model will support up to LTE. However, Kuo revised this prediction the following month and he now believes Apple will offer 5G in all models to better compete with lower-cost Android smartphones that will support 5G.
Nikkei‘s sources also confirmed that the three new iPhones will carry a 5G modem chip designed by Qualcomm. Apple was originally planning to use Intel chips in its 2020 5G iPhones, but Intel is out of the smartphone chip business and Apple has no choice but to use Qualcomm’s modem chips.
Apple’s embrace of 5G is expected to push carriers such as AT&T and Verizon to accelerate their investment in the rollout of 5G infrastructure and catch up with China’s rapidly accelerating 5G capabilities.
By 2025, London-based GSMA estimates that China will have 600 million 5G subscribers, or about 40 percent of the global total, notes Nikkei, citing a Financial Times report.