Apple’s mmWave 5G iPhones may see a ‘potential delay risk’ due to production and qualification issues

Apple is working on 5G-enabled iPhones, we know that much is true. But another rumor has surfaced suggesting we could see a production delay in some models.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research note (via MacRumors) saying that Apple could see a production delay for iPhone 12 models equipped with mmWave 5G, the fastest 5G functionality for mobile devices. The report indicates that these models could see a “potential delay risk”, and, as a result, these specific models might launch a little later than the normal timeline.

Apple has reported made changes to the antenna package in these models, which went into effect in April. In addition to that, delays to the qualification process have also impacted the production of the upcoming model. Coupled together, Apple’s mmWave-equipped 5G iPhones may not arrive on time.

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%.

However, there is some silver lining on these dark storm clouds. Kuo believes that some iPhone models will still hit the target timeline, and we should see the 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch iPhones go into mass production in September. However, the oft-rumored 6.7-inch model apparently has the “most complicated” design, and, as a result, mass production will be delayed until October. If that happens, then this variant might miss the fall window.

And of course, we’re still working on the assumption that Apple is going to launch four iPhone 12 models this year, all of which will feature 5G-connectivity. The models will start with a 4.7-inch variant, a pair of 6.1-inch models, and the 6.7-inch option. All of them will also have OLED displays.

Apple decided to start the online qualification process remotely and delegate more tasks to local employees for new ‌iPhone‌ development. The change takes time; therefore, it had caused a one-month delay in entering the engineering verification test (EVT) for all new 2H20 iPhones. We believe that there is a likelihood that new 2H20 6.1-inch and 5.4-inch iPhones will go into mass production in September. The mass production of the new 2H20 6.7-inch ‌iPhone‌ will be delayed to October because this model’s design is the most complicated.

This is not the first time we’ve heard this. Rumors have cropped up recently suggesting that we could see a staggered iPhone launch this year. Keep in mind that we’ve also heard Apple is facing the possible decision of simply delaying its 5G iPhone 12 lineup completely later this year, and all models may launch months after the planned September release.

Are you already starting to come to terms with the possibility that we could see a staggered iPhone launch later this year? Let us know in the comments.