From Bloomberg’s “Apple Seeks Up to 20% Increase in New iPhone Production for 2021” posted early Wednesday:
Apple Inc. has asked suppliers to build as many as 90 million next-generation iPhones this year, a sharp increase from its 2020 iPhone shipments, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The Cupertino, California-based tech giant has maintained a consistent level in recent years of roughly 75 million units for the initial run from a device’s launch through the end of the year. The upgraded forecast for 2021 would suggest the company anticipates its first iPhone launch since the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines will unlock additional demand. The next iPhones will be Apple’s second with 5G, a key enticement pushing users to upgrade.
This year’s update will be more incremental than last year’s iPhone 12, emphasizing processor, camera and display improvements, the people said, asking not to be named as the plans are not public. Apple is planning updates to all of the current models, spanning the 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch regular versions and the 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro models. The phones, codenamed D16, D17, D63, and D64, are all expected to be announced in September, earlier than last year’s October introduction partly thanks to the supply chain recovering.
At least one of the new versions will have an LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) display capable of alternating its refresh rate based on the content being shown. Apple has used this technology in the Apple Watch for several years, allowing the screen to be slower in certain situations — such as the Always On mode — to extend battery life. Oppo, OnePlusand Samsung Electronics Co. already have LTPO screens in their flagship phones. The new iPhones with LTPO displays will also use IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology for improved power efficiency and responsiveness.
My take: The Street was primed for news like this.