Apple may split its 5G 'iPhone 12' into two launches

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A financial analyst claims that Apple will divide its 5G launches into one for the slower sub-6GHz "iPhone 12" in September, and one for the faster mmWave models in December or January 2021.

While Apple reportedly remains on track to release a 5G capable "iPhone 12" later this year, a new report from financial analysis firm Susquehanna claims that the launch will be in two parts. At the regular September unveiling, analyst Mehdi Hosseini says Apple will release only phones that use the slower sub-6GHz variant of 5G.

Then further iPhones with the faster mmWave 5G may launch in December this year or January of 2021.

"The delay in the launch," says Hosseini in a note seen by StreetInsider, "stems from Apple's decision to in-source the Antenna-in-Package (AiP) modules instead of purchasing from the third party."

Apple has previously long been reported to be developing its own 5G modem. Initially reports claimed it would be ready by 2025, then estimates came down to 2022.

Following the recent settlement of legal disputes between the two companies, Qualcomm has reportedly been developing 5G "as fast as we can." At the same time, Intel withdrew from 5G development and Apple subsequently bought that firm's modem business.

Susquehenna's Hosseini expects Apple to make 52 million of the sub-6GHz iPhones and then 8 million of the mmWave version.

The same report says that Apple will continue to use LCD for one of the sub-6GHz iPhones rather than switching to OLED for the whole range.