iPhone 12 could launch in two waves with both 6.1-inch models arriving first
Supply chain rag Digitimes believes that it is possible Apple could ship its iPhone 12 models in stages based on the supply of certain components. According to its supply chain sources, supplies of SLP (substrate-like PCB) boards started shipping parts for the 6.1-inch models in July. This was then followed by the shipment of the same components for the 5.4-inch model and the 6.7-inch iPhone in the second half of August.
The report is consistent with other sources that claim the iPhone 12 launch could be a little different than usual due to the impact of COVID-19. If Apple was to ship the iPhone 12 series in two waves, it makes sense to start with the 6.1-inch models. Historically, this is the volume selling size and will come in non-Pro and Pro configurations. The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max will undoubtedly sell well too, but not in quite the same volumes as the other two.
In a separate report, the Nikkei Asian Review claims that iPhone product will ramp up later this month and into early October. Like Digitimes, the Nikkei expects production to start with a 6.1-inch model, but in this instance, just the regular non-Pro model. It goes on to claim that Apple ordered enough parts to make 80 million 5G iPhone 12 models but that the actual number manufactured this year might be more in the order of 73-74 million -- the remainder could be pushed back into early 2021.