Apple reportedly plans to increase iPhone production by 30 percent during the first half of 2021, buoyed by demand for its first 5G compatible handsets.
iPhone shipments decreased in both 2018 and 2019, but demand for the devices during 2020 has been relatively static despite the wider economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and the late launch of the flagship iPhone 12 range.
These devices have been well-received by both consumers and critics alike, and the company wants to capitalize on this demand. From Nikkei Asian Review:
Apple plans to produce up to 96 million iPhones for the first half of 2021, a nearly 30% year-on-year increase, after demand for its first-ever 5G handsets surged amid the pandemic, Nikkei Asia learned.
The Cupertino-based tech giant has asked suppliers to build some 95 million to 96 million iPhones, including the latest iPhone 12 range and the older iPhone 11 and iPhone SE, multiple people familiar with the matter told Nikkei Asia — though industrywide shortages of key components could threaten that target.
The tentative full-year forecast that Apple shared with its suppliers suggests it plans to build up to 230 million iPhones in 2021, including both old and new models, the people said. This would mark a 20% rise from 2019, though the target will be regularly reviewed and revised in response to any changes in consumer demand, they added.
An Apple supplier exec told the outlet that the outlook for 2021 is “quite bright.” Specifically, demand for the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max is stronger than expected. The iPhone 12 is reportedly in line with estimated demand, whilst that of the iPhone 12 mini is “a bit sluggish.”
The report further notes that Apple has “an aggressive production schedule” lined up for both the MacBook Pro and iMac Pro next year.