Shipments of mmWave 5G iPhones Could Be Much Weaker Than Expected This Year

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The latest shipment estimates for Apple's upcoming mmWave-enabled 5G iPhones are several million units lower than previously expected, which is intensifying competition among suppliers of AiP substrates, reports DigiTimes.

Shipments of mmWave-enabled 5G iPhones slated for launch later this year are estimated to reach only 15-20 million units in 2020 compared to a previous supply chain estimate of 30-40 million units, intensifying competition among Apple's suppliers of FC-AiP substrates for the new phones, according to industry sources.
Apple is believed to be designing its own antenna-in-package or "AiP" module for mmWave iPhones, which use a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making it best suited for dense urban areas. By contrast, sub-6GHz 5G is generally slower than mmWave, but the signals travel further, better serving suburban and rural areas.

According to DigiTimes, Apple's AIP package is more cost-effective than previous designs, but some analysts believe that models with support for ultra-fast mmWave technology will likely launch after sub-6GHz models due to production challenges and the global health crisis. To counter these challenges, Apple has diversified its supply chain for the modules to minimize risk.
The upcoming mmWave 5G iPhones will adopt more cost-effective FC-AiP process, with ASE Technology to package AiP modules, the sources said. But Apple reportedly has finalized three suppliers of BT-based FC-AiP substrates, including one based in Taiwan and two in South Korea, and they will together supply 30-50 million substrates, the sources said, adding one iPhone will require 2-3 AiP modules.
Prior to the global health crisis, analyst Ming-Chi 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 quarter or early fourth quarter.

Kuo has not indicated whether those plans have since changed, but other analysts have said they believe the mmWave iPhones may not arrive this year because Apple's custom antenna-in-package is proving to be more of a battery drain than the company would like.

Kuo has said 5G iPhone models with mmWave would be available in five markets, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom. He also believes Apple may disable 5G functionality in countries that do not offer 5G service or have a shallow 5G penetration rate to reduce production costs.

Article Link: Shipments of mmWave 5G iPhones Could Be Much Weaker Than Expected This Year
 

Homme

macrumors 6502
Jun 17, 2014
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Sydney
Upon seeing the last paragraph.. I believe Apple must disable 5G functionality in areas with no 5G as to not repeat what happened to the new iPad when that came out with 4G, marketed as 4G in areas with no 4G and as a result Apple was sued in Australia (and other countries) as a result of advertising that it has 4G but 4G was in its infancy at that time
 

BvizioN

macrumors 603
Mar 16, 2012
5,168
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Apple was sued in Australia (and other countries) as a result of advertising that it has 4G but 4G was in its infancy at that time
It is true, but it is mind-boggling that people do get away with such a stupid lawsuit. It is like people buying Tesla electric cars to use them in areas where the charging infrastructure is not in place and suing Tesla for advertising cars as electric! Nothing short of stupidity!!
 

smithy12

macrumors member
May 29, 2012
36
27
I can't imagine how stupid people are or do we live in a culture where people like to sue big companies for the jot of it ? I'm not sure if they already do this but in markets where a feature doesn't currently function a simple sticker or some sorts would be sufficient to prevent silly lawsuits or at point of sale ??
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 603
Apr 11, 2014
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I don't see this iPhone being a hit. I think people are getting iPhone fatigue. The enthusiast who knows what 120Hz is or what LiDar is (I don't) will want it, but the average guy who doesn't know what these features are won't care.

We're in the age of corona, riots, and Trump. Long lines that wrap the corner block and the untempered excitement people once had for the latest and greatest iPhone seems so yesterday...
 

swm

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2013
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"use a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making it best suited for dense urban areas."

mmWave is PITA to deal with as it is requires Line-of-sight, and even your palms/head can totally block it. it has issues with moving receivers. plus it requires precise beam forming (not like the sub 6ghz stuff) to reach out further. that means a lot more radios need to be deployed which then will lead to more interference or less efficient airtime utilisation. backhauling those microcells would be extremely difficult. and in most cases requirements for mobility and high throughput seldom go hand in hand
 
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Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
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I don't see this iPhone being a hit. I think people are getting iPhone fatigue. The enthusiast who knows what 120Hz is or what LiDar is (I don't) will want it, but the average guy who doesn't know what these features are won't care.

We're in the age of corona, riots, and Trump. Long lines that wrap the corner block and the untempered excitement people once had for the latest and greatest iPhone seems so yesterday...
I mean, they'll still sell them by the millions, but quite a few people are going the same way I did - having owned pretty much every iPhone since the original launch day back in 2007, I recently traded for an S20+, and wouldn't go back.

It'll be interesting to see how they handle the 5G launch. They buggered up 4G in quite a few places - e.g. launching "4G" models in Aus with no 4G network, launching the 4G iPhone 5 in the UK with support for only 1 4G network.

I'm assuming they'll go the way other manufacturers have, having 4G, 5G sub-6 and 5G mmwave models, depending on the market. There's zero point putting mmwave devices out in the UK at the moment, for example, since no network currently has plans (or spectrum) to support it. Heck, outside of Italy, I don't think any country in Europe has even allcated mmwave spectrum yet.

That's pretty much what Samsung do. My UK purchased S20+ 5G doesn't support mmwave - do I really care? Nope. By the time mmwave is actually in use in the UK I doubt i'll still have it. IMO, outside of densely populated cities, mmwave isn't really needed anyway. On sub-6, I've managed to hit 350mbps indoors on EE, and consistently get speeds well over 100mbps. That's absolutely plenty for a mobile phone IMO.
 

willyx

macrumors member
Apr 25, 2014
62
233
It is true, but it is mind-boggling that people do get away with such a stupid lawsuit. It is like people buying Tesla electric cars to use them in areas where the charging infrastructure is not in place and suing Tesla for advertising cars as electric! Nothing short of stupidity!!
No, it's like Tesla advertising and selling you "fast charging", while their cars being incompatible with any of the public fast chargers of your country. And even then it's not a full analogy, as you still could install a fast charging station at home, but you cannot install a 4G network.

With that example, the reason for suing becomes stronger, as you are misleading customers.
 

SurferPup

macrumors regular
Our three main mobile carriers: Optus, Vodafone and Telstra have 5G towers transmitting here 🇦🇺 so I was hoping the iPhone 12 released in Australia would have 5G transmitters built in. Samsung's flag ship model has a 5G antenna. Nokia's mid range 6.3, 7.3 and top of the range 9.3 PureView with launch events of Q3 2020 planned are expected to be 5G capable. Please Apple release 5G iPhones this year in Australia. I'm beginning to waiver. I have a Nokia 6.1 and just purchased a Nokia 9 PureView (last year's flagship model) at a very nice price. Nokia smart mobile phones may not have eSIM capability however I do use the dual nano SiM / SD Card tray; wireless charging; much superior build and design over Samsungs with a diverse range of colours in glass, metal or a special polymer twice the strength of polycarbonate; 8K rear video recording; 32 MP front camera; 128 Gb of memory; 6 Gb of RAM and FM radio in most models. I still have my iPhone XS and prefer iOS to Android but Android 10 is very similar to iOS and for the tech savvy there is a lot one can do to protect their privacy on a smart phone with an Android OS.
 
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Hieveryone

macrumors 603
Apr 11, 2014
5,178
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USA
I mean, they'll still sell them by the millions, but quite a few people are going the same way I did - having owned pretty much every iPhone since the original launch day back in 2007, I recently traded for an S20+, and wouldn't go back.

It'll be interesting to see how they handle the 5G launch. They buggered up 4G in quite a few places - e.g. launching "4G" models in Aus with no 4G network, launching the 4G iPhone 5 in the UK with support for only 1 4G network.

I'm assuming they'll go the way other manufacturers have, having 4G, 5G sub-6 and 5G mmwave models, depending on the market. There's zero point putting mmwave devices out in the UK at the moment, for example, since no network currently has plans (or spectrum) to support it. Heck, outside of Italy, I don't think any country in Europe has even allcated mmwave spectrum yet.

That's pretty much what Samsung do. My UK purchased S20+ 5G doesn't support mmwave - do I really care? Nope. By the time mmwave is actually in use in the UK I doubt i'll still have it. IMO, outside of densely populated cities, mmwave isn't really needed anyway. On sub-6, I've managed to hit 350mbps indoors on EE, and consistently get speeds well over 100mbps. That's absolutely plenty for a mobile phone IMO.
I think iphone fatigue is real. It’s not apples fault. This phone any other year would be a huge hit. IMO, it’s just the time we’re living in. There’s so many world events right now. Pandemic, recession, race riots, stressful election just months away, nobody is thinking iphone right now.

I think owning an iPhone 11 year model along with iOS 14 with the widgets etc is probably the go-to iPhone setup for 2020
 

ValO

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2012
1,643
612
For me, it means the that the iPhone 12 pro will be released to the public in end of November/beginning December, just like the iPhone X instead of end of December. And that would explain the cut of component orders for this year(2020). There is a chance that component orders will raise in the beginning of 2021. That would put this rumor quite in a different perspective, instead of just blaming worldwide economic reasons.
 

Biro

macrumors member
Jan 11, 2012
62
23
Unless one simply must have the latest and greatest (at least on paper), it might make better sense to skip the first-gen 5G phones and let them work out the bugs. LTE will work better than ever going forward as carriers open up their networks for 5G. And, never mind what the marketing people say, the top executives and engineers working for those carriers have repeatedly said that 5G is going to feel like very good LTE - at least for a while. And then there's the matter of 5G deployment... which is still much less than you might expect...


Maybe when the iPhone 13 is released it'll be time to jump back in the pool. Personally, I'm fine with my iPhone 11 for at least two or three more years.

And, even though I'm firmly in the Apple camp, I agree that iPhone fatigue is real. While many people posting here might not agree, most of the world has other things on its mind these days.
 
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averagenerd81

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2020
6
5
Out there man
I love my iPhones. I’ve owned many android devices too, the Note 10 recently. Apple has nothing to worry about with me, I nor my family are going anywhere. We just won’t be buying the iPhone this year. Too much uncertainty with the economy and no true reason to replace a perfectly working iPhone 11 Pro.
 
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BvizioN

macrumors 603
Mar 16, 2012
5,168
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Manchester, UK
No, it's like Tesla advertising and selling you "fast charging", while their cars being incompatible with any of the public fast chargers of your country. And even then it's not a full analogy, as you still could install a fast-charging station at home, but you cannot install a 4G network.

With that example, the reason for suing becomes stronger, as you are misleading customers.
The fact that Australia's network at that time (the only "4G" network then) was using a 2G spectrum band to provide 4G, didn't make the iPad 4G incompatible. We know it WAS 4G compatible because I have been using one, including millions of others. I don't think they have ever advertised the tablet as being compatible with Telstra's 'version' of 4G, although I do agree that a disclaimer should have been presented on the devices sold in Australia (just to make it a bit stupid-proof). At that time, Australias 4G was at its infancy. Years after it got more mature and included wider spectrum bands, including 700Mhz and 2100Mhz that was lacking back then, which clearly wasn't Apple's fault for their initially poor infrastructure.
For the fine, they got (pennies from Apple's perspective) they were absolutely fine to settle and move on.
 
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cocky jeremy

macrumors 601
Jul 12, 2008
4,503
2,124
Columbus, OH
Upon seeing the last paragraph.. I believe Apple must disable 5G functionality in areas with no 5G as to not repeat what happened to the new iPad when that came out with 4G, marketed as 4G in areas with no 4G and as a result Apple was sued in Australia (and other countries) as a result of advertising that it has 4G but 4G was in its infancy at that time
Wouldn't they just need to call it "5G capable" to get around it?
 

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
5,370
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Gunna be some unproven beta hardware this year for the 12. Possibly a boondoggle. iPhone 13 should have a lot of these new technologies ironed out.
 

jezbd1997

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2015
573
702
Melbourne Australia
Couldn’t even care about 5G.. 4G works perfectly fine for me. Haven’t had real coverage or speed issues for years now especially due to heaps more small cells. Even in congested stadiums last year with all the LTE advanced tech=almost 0 issues.
I’m in Australia with Telstra (our major carrier)
For 5G to take off they are going to have to give us broadband-like data caps or unlimited to make it even useful
 

Reason077

macrumors 68020
Aug 14, 2007
2,286
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Kuo has said 5G iPhone models with mmWave would be available in five markets, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom.
Interesting that the UK is on this list, as I don't think there is any prospect of mmWave launching in the United Kingdom in the near future.

UK carriers are currently rolling out 5G services in the 3.6 Ghz band, with additional spectrum to be auctioned/allocated in 3.6-3.8 Ghz and 700 Mhz bands in late 2020/early 2021. There are no current plans to allocate spectrum in the mmWave (26 Ghz) band in the UK.
 

cmaier

macrumors P6
Jul 25, 2007
18,193
16,401
California
I don't see this iPhone being a hit. I think people are getting iPhone fatigue.
Said every year by everyone.

bigger screens and 5G are both things that will trigger a “super cycle.” 2020 will be slow for obvious reasons (including economic collapse and probably slightly delayed launch) but sales will be huge next year.
- - Post merged: - -

Gunna be some unproven beta hardware this year for the 12. Possibly a boondoggle. iPhone 13 should have a lot of these new technologies ironed out.
what unproven hardware? The 5g chipset will not be first gen (samsung and the rest beta’d that with their customers this year), and everything else is only ”new” in the sense that every year there are new things.
 
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Reason077

macrumors 68020
Aug 14, 2007
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Couldn’t even care about 5G.. 4G works perfectly fine for me.
5G has worked out pretty great for me (UK). No need for fibre broadband when I get consistent 200 Mbps+ download speeds and < 20ms pings for £30/month. I'm even streaming live games via Google Stadia with no lag whatsoever (Mac gaming solved!). 4G is lucky to get over 50 Mbps, typically less, and the ping times are significantly worse.

For 5G to take off they are going to have to give us broadband-like data caps or unlimited to make it even useful
Oh, definitely. I can easily blow through 100 GB in a day with 5G!
 
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