The reduced 5 nm orders from Apple are an indication of “seasonality,” rather than low demand for iPhone 12 demand.
While the impact of Covid meant that Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup launched later than usual, a prominent analyst claims that Apple’s next-generation smartphone – the iPhone 13 – should revert back to the company’s typical release schedule. Meanwhile, Samsung’s Galaxy S21 smartphone which is set to be unveiled as soon as next month has been apparently leaked on video, showed next to an iPhone 12 Pro.
Although mass production of Apple’s new iPhone handsets typically begins in the summer, this year, production of the iPhone 12 – including the iPhone 12 Pro, Pro Max, and mini – didn’t begin until September. From here, Apple’s annual iPhone-unveiling event was postponed from September to October and the release of the handsets was also delayed. While the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models launched on Oct. 23, the iPhone 12 Pro Max and 12 mini didn’t launch until Nov. 13.
However, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who’s typically accurate with his Apple predictions, claims that in 2021, the iPhone’s release cycle should revert back to a more familiar timeframe. In a research note shared by MacRumors, he also stated that reduced Apple orders for TSMC’s 5 nm production isn’t due to low iPhone 12 demand.
Apple’s A14 chip production will be running at 80% of TSMC’s 5 nm capacity in the first quarter of 2021, compared with 100% utilization in Q4 2020. However, Kuo claims that the change in production is due to seasonality, and expects TSMC’s production to shift towards Apple’s A15 chip, which will power the iPhone 13 lineup, in due course.
He also added that demand for the iPhone 12 Pro devices has been better than expected in 2020, despite the impact of the pandemic. The Pro-level iPhones include an enhanced camera system, LiDAR scanner, and are made from more durable materials; the iPhone 12 Pro Max ships with a larger 6.7-inch display, too.