Millions of 5G iPhones could be coming this year

(Image credit: gizmochina)

Apple has requested its suppliers produce 75 million units of its planned range of 5G iPhone devices, suggesting the company is confident that consumer demand will allow it to continue its impressive performance during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The company reportedly believes it can shift as many as 80 million 5G handsets this year, a confidence founded in strong recent financial results and sales.

While other vendors have suffered from the economic impact of lockdown, demand for iPhones has remained constant – helping Apple to achieve a $2 trillion valuation.

Apple 5G iPhones

Bloomberg says Apple is set to launch four iPhone models next month – two standard iterations and two premium versions – offering a choice of price points, feature sets and screen sizes.

All four devices will boast OLED displays, squared edged design and the usual performance enhancements, with the ‘Pro models’ offering premium finishes and superior imaging capabilities. One of the ‘Pro’ models is said to have a 6.7-inch screen – the largest ever display included in an iPhone.

Crucially, however, all will include support for 5G networks. Rivals such as Samsung have offered 5G handsets since last year but Apple has a tradition of being a late adopter of certain technologies.

Near Field Communication (NFC) and wireless charging had been included in other flagship devices for some time before they were feature in an iPhone, but the less fragmented nature of the iOS ecosystem helped pave the way for mainstream use and popularisation. Mobile operators will hope that a 5G iPhone will have the same effect and encourage customers to take out longer and more expensive contracts.

While the designs and feature sets for all four new iPhone models were finalised prior to the pandemic, there was some delay to testing and some supply chain issues. This has had a minor impact on the standard release schedule.

It is said that the two standard models will be made available before the premium versions. This launch will be later In the year than usual but –crucially – before Christmas. With the iPhone the biggest revenue driver for Apple and the Holiday season its busiest period for sales, the company is obviously keen to release the cheaper models first.

Apple has been contacted for comment.

Via Bloomberg

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.