The legend, the man himself, analysts Ming-Chi Kuo has dropped a ton of new information pertaining to the iPhone 12, iPhone SE Plus, and the expected “success” of the new iPhone SE.
Firstly Kuo says that Apple has pushed the traditional in-person qualification process for the iPhone 12 to be done remotely, and has allocated “local employees” to the job leading to a one month delay. Earlier reports suggested that travel restrictions in China due to COVID19 were hindering the ability for Apple engineers to inspect and approve prototypes in person.
One could also make the assumption that Apple executives were cautious about moving the qualification process online, making it easier for schematics and such to leak, which they already have. Kuo also points to technological issues with the mmWave iPhone 12, causing further delay:
The mmWave iPhone will be pushed back because the design of the antenna in package (AiP) changes in early April. Additionally, the test lab is closed and can’t offer qualification process services. If the pandemic can’t be controlled well until July, then we think that the shipment allocation of mmWave iPhones will decrease to 5–10% from 15–20%.
Kuo has maintained his stance that the 2020 iPhone lineup will feature 4 models, and a “staggered” release pattern, versus the “all at once” approach that Apple has historically done, in exception of the iPhone X and XR.
Next up some news on the new iPhone SE. Apple doesn’t typically release the exact numbers of how many devices were pre-ordered, so our best bet is what the experts have to say. Unsurprisingly, the ongoing global pandemic and crashing economy have dampened expectations, with Kuo saying “that the market didn’t have a high expectation” in the first place.
Kuo says that he estimates around 12-14 million iPhone SE handsets will get shipped during Q2 of the year, with another 10 million in Q3 of 2020. Lower expectations and the closure of stores are noted to be the main factors of the arguably low numbers. Kuo does shed some hope saying that the mid-range, $399 iPhone will help target customers who are eager for an upgrade, but not able to cough up $1,000+ for the companies flagships.
Lastly, Kuo lightly touches up on the rumors of a larger version of the iPhone SE, the iPhone SE Plus. All the rumors of a larger phone came from code 9to5Mac found in iOS 14 that pointed to the larger handset. Now, Kuo says it’s been pushed even further to either Q3 of Q4 of 2021 with Apple changing plans just recently.