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Kuo: mmWave 5G iPhone Shipments Likely to Be Weaker Than Expected in 2020-21

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Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will all include 5G support, and several rumors have suggested that some if not all the new iPhones coming this fall will support both sub-6GHz and mmWave networks, which are two different 5G technologies that carriers are rolling out.

The fastest technology, mmWave, will be used in dense areas like major cities. The longer-distance sub-6GHz networks will be available more broadly in urban, suburban and rural areas. Due to the impact of the global health crisis, however, shipments of Apple's mmWave-enabled 5G iPhones could be weaker than expected this year and next year, according to reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


In a new investor's note for TFI Securities, seen by MacRumors, Kuo says shipment estimates for Apple's mmWave-enabled 5G iPhones are likely to be several million units lower than expected due to delays in the global rollout of mWave base stations.
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.
Kuo's note harks back to a DigiTimes report in June that claimed shipments of mmWave 5G iPhones could be much weaker than expected this year because of a combination of production challenges and the impact of the health crisis.

However, that report said shipping estimates of mmWave-enabled 5G iPhones slated for launch this year would reach only 15-20 million units in 2020, compared to a previous supply chain estimate of 30-40 million units.

Prior to the global health crisis, Kuo said Apple was still on track to release both sub-6GHz and sub-6GHz-plus-mmWave iPhone 12 models simultaneously in the second half of 2020, with shipments beginning in the late third or early fourth quarter. Kuo has not indicated whether those plans have since changed, but some analysts believe that models with support for ultra-fast mmWave technology will likely launch after sub-6GHz models.

Meanwhile, the latest Bloomberg report on Apple's product launch plans claims Apple plans to stagger its iPhone launches this year.

There are four new iPhones in the works in 5.4, 6.1, and 6.7-inch sizes. Bloomberg says the two lower-end 5.4 and 6.1-inch devices are expected to ship out ahead of the Pro devices, but it's not clear whether the phased launch relates in any way to different models supporting different 5G technologies.

Apple employees also told Bloomberg that a few testers have found 5G disappointing, with the current 5G networks "not improving connection speeds much."

Kuo has previously said he believes iPhone models with mmWave and sub-6GHz support will be available in main markets like the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan, while in some other countries, Apple may offer iPhones with just sub-6GHz connectivity. Sub-6GHz could also be disabled in countries that do not offer 5G or have shallow 5G penetration, allowing them to connect only to 4G networks.

Article Link: Kuo: mmWave 5G iPhone Shipments Likely to Be Weaker Than Expected in 2020-21
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
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Does anyone really give a crap about mmWave? Isn’t that the technology that if you aren’t pointed directly at the transmitter line of sight your speed is slower than LTE? Honestly I think LTE is plenty fast, especially for a phone. What I want them to work on is building penetration and range for coverage. mmWave sounds like the opposite of that.
 
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ksec

macrumors 65816
Dec 23, 2015
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Sub-6GHz could also be disabled in countries that do not offer 5G or have shallow 5G penetration, allowing them to connect only to 5G networks.

I think you mean 4G here.

Most carrier around the world have no or little plans to deploy mmWave. That is to be expected. It has very few use cases in real world.

But at the end of the day people dont buy the Pro simply because of mmWave support.
 
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ksec

macrumors 65816
Dec 23, 2015
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Not fussed about 5G until it's done properly.

4G is also faster than many broadband services in areas outside of the main cities in the UK.

That is part of the reason why some want 5G. In dense, highly populated area 5G allows dramatic improvement in Density given the same spectrum allocation, even without mmWave.
 
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Kylo83

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2020
770
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In the uk they are stopping all 5g improvements it’s not happening for a few years now
 
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loekf

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2015
711
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Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Does anyone really give a crap about mmWave? Isn’t that the technology that if you aren’t pointed directly at the transmitter line of sight your speed is slower than LTE? Honestly I think LTE is plenty fast, especially for a phone. What I want them to work on is building penetration and range for coverage. mmWave sounds like the opposite of that.

Speaking for myself, I really don't care about mmWave. It's a flawed technology. You either need LoS and/or little in the way between you and the basestation. Even rain can harm the signal. It also complicates the antenna design in the phone, because your hand might already block the signals (hello antenna gate 2.0). You also need lots of basestations/transmitters, the cell size is quite small (few 100m max ?). So even for internet to homes I think it makes little sense. If you dig holes in the ground for a fiber cable, you might as well put that fiber to the home itself instead of basically installing a basestation in front of every home.

5G is another story, it's basically improved 4G, so gives you more speed and more range.

But.. Apple can't afford not to release iPhones in 2020 without some 5G support. It's a marketing tick mark.

Here in Europe the 5G frequencies are btw << 6 GHz. In the Netherlands the recent auction was for 700-, 1400- and 2100-MHz, followed in 2022 by 3,5 GHz. 26 GHz (mmWave) not before 2022. That's mainly because 2G and 3G is phased out, so companies can re-use that part of the spectrum.
 
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swm

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2013
312
465
if someone understands how mmWave works, what are the limitations, it is pretty easy to dismiss all these rumours about having anything over 6GHz supported in a mobile device.
 
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jlc1978

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2009
2,895
1,184
Does anyone really give a crap about mmWave? Isn’t that the technology that if you aren’t pointed directly at the transmitter line of sight your speed is slower than LTE? Honestly I think LTE is plenty fast, especially for a phone. What I want them to work on is building penetration and range for coverage. mmWave sounds like the opposite of that.
mmWave sounds like one of those techs that where it works it's great but it is not intended for broad adoption. My interest in 5G is as a replacement for fiber; when it gets to the point that it is reliable, fast enough to handle multiple streams and costs less than fiber I'd switch. If a company such as Tmob could deliver unlimited 5G that fast enough for streaming and allow the phone as an hotspot with no caps then it would make sense to dump fiber and have each person use their phone to stream to an Apple TV or other device when they watch or to provide internet connectivity. No more need for routers, modems, etc.

Of course, at that point, TMob becomes an interesting acquisition for Apple to allow them to be an end to end content delivery company; or for Disney, Google, and others as well. Ultimately, the three major networks would morph back into 3 end to end content providers; albeit with more varied offerings than the old NBC Red/Blue and CBS radio days.

Apple would be akin to NBC, providing content, delivery, and devices; although they may be less likely to run afoul of antitrust given the different competitive landscape.
 
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Michael Scrip

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2011
5,930
6,651
NC
I remember having a 3G phone in a 4G world. It sucked because 3G sucked... and I couldn't wait to get a 4G phone.

But this time around... I'm not really excited for 5G.

4G is fine for everything I do. Every once in a while I'll be in an area with limited 4G coverage... but I honestly can't remember the last time I saw "No Service" on my phone.

And if you're in an area with poor 4G coverage... you can bet 5G isn't there either.

I hope the phone doesn't constantly blast the 5G radio and kill the battery looking for a tower that's never there. Is there a way to turn off the 5G modem and just rely on 4G/LTE? I think they use entirely different antennas for each... so they should be separate subsystems.
 
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bigchrisfgb

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2010
1,341
432
In the uk they are stopping all 5g improvements it’s not happening for a few years now
100% incorrect.
All the networks are pressing ahead of rolling out 5g. EE/BT have a legal obligation to the government to roll out 5g as much as possible. 02 are rolling out in many new areas by the end of this year. Three are starting to roll out their network soon. Vodafone are partnering with 02 to share masts.
 
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Ramchi

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2007
1,054
530
India
Speaking for myself, I really don't care about mmWave. It's a flawed technology. You either need LoS and/or little in the way between you and the basestation. Even rain can harm the signal. It also complicates the antenna design in the phone, because your hand might already block the signals (hello antenna gate 2.0). You also need lots of basestations/transmitters, the cell size is quite small (few 100m max ?). So even for internet to homes I think it makes little sense. If you dig holes in the ground for a fiber cable, you might as well put that fiber to the home itself instead of basically installing a basestation in front of every home.

5G is another story, it's basically improved 4G, so gives you more speed and more range.

But.. Apple can't afford not to release iPhones in 2020 without some 5G support. It's a marketing tick mark.

Here in Europe the 5G frequencies are btw << 6 GHz. In the Netherlands the recent auction was for 700-, 1400- and 2100-MHz, followed in 2022 by 3,5 GHz. 26 GHz (mmWave) not before 2022. That's mainly because 2G and 3G is phased out, so companies can re-use that part of the spectrum.
Are we suggesting that Apple is pursuing a flawed technology?
 
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hunapu

macrumors newbie
Oct 31, 2019
20
52
The surveillance industry (hiding behind "user experience improvements") needs 5g for the coming internet Of Things boom. Your washing machine will send diagnostics to the producer, so that you can be warned if the filter needs to be cleaned. But in reality, it sends customer usage data to be sold to highest bidder.
 
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pratikindia

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2014
418
412
I remember having a 3G phone in a 4G world. It sucked because 3G sucked... and I couldn't wait to get a 4G phone.

But this time around... I'm not really excited for 5G.

4G is fine for everything I do. Every once in a while I'll be in an area with limited 4G coverage... but I honestly can't remember the last time I saw "No Service" on my phone.

And if you're in an area with poor 4G coverage... you can bet 5G isn't there either.

I hope the phone doesn't constantly blast the 5G radio and kill the battery looking for a tower that's never there. Is there a way to turn off the 5G modem and just rely on 4G/LTE? I think they use entirely different antennas for each... so they should be separate subsystems.
I think it wold be there as now can select between 3G and 4G.
 
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ersan191

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2013
1,483
2,523
I honestly assumed all of them would support mmWave and sub-6GHz both - weird.

Maybe I'll skip this gen, waiting on Verizon to light up low band 5G in my area anyway.
 
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one more

macrumors 68000
Aug 6, 2015
1,814
1,523
Earth
IMO, the benefits of 5G are over-hyped by the cellular network operators, simply to bring in more cash. Installing more masts, encouraging people to upgrade their hardware, etc. A quality 4G connection can do wonders already. Also, considering the roll-out will take at least several years in most countries, Apple could have easily waited until at least 2022 to bring the 5G in.

All going well, by then the Covid effects would have been mitigated. Releasing it right now, I think, is somewhat premature and would not benefit customers in any substantial way.
 
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