KEY POINTS

  • Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple's upcoming handsets are delayed
  • This is caused in part by problems surrounding COVID-19
  • These delayed devices include the iPhone SE Plus and iPhone 12 lineup

Apple is expected to release a slew of new handsets this year, including the lower-priced iPhone SE and the premium iPhone 12 series. Most of these devices, except the newly-released iPhone SE, will be delayed, however.

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in an investor note, said the new 2020 iPhone SE was warmly received by the market, CNBC reported. He said Apple is selling more iPhone SE units than it originally expected to sell. It's worth noting, however, that according to Kuo, “the market didn’t have a high expectation” when the device was released, 9To5Mac reported.

The public's response to the new iPhone SE, however, indicates a shift from higher-end devices to lower-priced handsets, Kuo noted. This shift could also be influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, in that consumers are facing uncertainties about it, and would rather purchase cheaper smartphones, or not buy a new handset at all.

Delayed

That said, Kuo said he believes that Apple's pricier iPhone models will be delayed. These models include a bigger iPhone SE model called the iPhone SE Plus, as well as all the models included in the iPhone 12 series.

The analyst said that a 5.5-inch version of the 2020 iPhone SE is “likely” delayed until the second half of 2021. He previously predicted that it would be launched during the first half of 2021, but adjusted his prediction as he believes Apple's timeline has changed.

As for the iPhone 12 series, Kuo said changes in Cupertino's process of producing the new handsets have delayed production by at least one month. These changes include remote qualification processes and delegating more tasks to “local employees.”

Kuo expects that Apple will employ a staggered mass production schedule for the iPhone 12 devices this year. He believes that the 6.1-inch and 5.4-inch models will start production in September. The 6.7-inch model, on the other hand, will not start production until October because it has “the most complicated” design, the analyst said.

All of these models are 5G-capable, but Kuo noted that the mmWave iPhone 12 will be delayed even further due to changes in the antenna design. At the moment, it's unclear as to what this could mean for the iPhone 12 lineup.

2020 iPhone SE 2020 iPhone SE Photo: Apple