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Report: Apple Ready to Launch 5G iPhone Production with Cheapest Model First

By Rich Duprey – Sep 11, 2020 at 12:15PM

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The gap between orders and scheduled production has been sharply narrowed, but full run isn't expected till early 2021.

Apple (AAPL 1.21%) is preparing to ramp up production of its newest 5G iPhone, but reports suggest it won't be able to hit the 80-million-unit threshold it was aiming for as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the supply chain.

Yet Apple looks like it will not have a similar problem with iPads, new Macbooks featuring its own CPUs, and a new device-tracking tag called AirTag.

Smartphone with dissolving 5G letters over it, in front of globes

Image source: Getty Images.

All systems go

Nikkei Asian Review reports that while Apple has significantly narrowed the gap between orders and expected production, it will likely reach 73 million to 74 million iPhone units. Manufacturing is expected to start within the next week or two, though at reduced levels until early October before really ramping up.

It quotes one unnamed supply chain executive as saying: "The final assembly for some models is still going to be early October, but we are working to keep moving the production as early as possible."

That's a month or more behind the tech giant's typical schedule of starting production in August for a September release, but well ahead of what analysts had originally forecast during the depths of the COVID-19 outbreak. The remaining balance of iPhones will be delayed until early 2021.

The site also says Apple will begin production with the cheapest 5G iPhone model that features a 6.1-inch OLED screen and two rear cameras, which account for 40% of Apple's orders.

Apple hasn't had similar issues with its 27 million orders for new iPads, while preparing to launch its new Macbooks that are the first to not have Intel (INTC 0.39%) chips since 2005. Nikkei Asian Review also says there was no problem starting production on the Airtag that will let consumers track non-Apple devices.

Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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