Nikkei Asia on Wednesday reports that Apple plans an update to the budget iPhone SE, adding a faster processor and 5G capabilities, while confirming that Apple will be making this the last year of the mini (with the “iPhone 13 mini”) which has seen disappointing sales compared to the other iPhone 12 models: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
All iPhones released next year will be 5G-capable, including Apple’s first revamp of its budget handset in two years, as the company looks to boost sales of a product that still accounts for more than half of its revenue.
Apple will not introduce any new 4G models next year, sources familiar with the matter told Nikkei Asia, and will instead begin selling a version of its cheapest handset — the popular iPhone SE — that is compatible with the next-generation communication standard.
The company will also not introduce an updated version of the iPhone Mini next year, after the premium smartphone with a smaller screen failed to catch on with consumers, sources added.
The budget 5G iPhone is set to hit the market as early as the first half of 2022, sources briefed on the matter said. It will be powered by Apple’s own A15 processor — the same chip that will go into this year’s premium iPhones — and its 5G connectivity will be enabled by Qualcomm’s X60 modem chip, they added.
Mass production of this year’s new iPhones is also set to begin in August, in line with Apple’s usual pre-pandemic production schedule. Apple could produce as many 95 million units between then and the end of January, though sources stressed that such forecasts are subject to review. For all of 2021, Apple aims to build up to 230 million iPhones, including both the existing and new models, an 11% growth from last year, sources told Nikkei Asia.
MacDailyNews Take: Nikkei Asia also confirms earlier reports that new Apple Silicon MacBook Pro models(we expect 14- and 16-inch models) and a new version of entry-level AirPods (which we expect to look like the current AirPods Pro, but without Active Noise Cancellation) are coming later this year.
A little birdie tells us that DigiTimes‘ “AirPods Pro Lite” are actually AirPods (3rd gen.) which offer the new shorter-stem AirPods Pro design sans active noise cancellation. — MacDailyNews, March 5, 2020
Apple already sells AirPods Pro Lite. They’re called AirPods. – MacDailyNews, February 12, 2020
DigiTimes' "AirPods Pro Lite" are AirPods. That is all. pic.twitter.com/7F0OnWnkFz
— MacDailyNews (@MacDailyNews) February 21, 2020