iPhone 13 series will come with increased battery capacities and wider 5G support over the existing models, a report has predicted, corroborating previous speculations. Apple is also said to embrace a new way to assemble iPhone cameras that could help reduce costs to some extent. Separately, component supplier Foxconn has predicted that there could be a shortage in supply of the iPhone 13 components due to ongoing production constraints. The new iPhone models are expected to launch sometime in September.
Market research firm TrendForce in its latest press note said that the iPhone 13 series would come with an all-new flexible charging circuit board that would include a System-in-Package (SiP) to save some space. This could allow Apple to have a larger battery pack, which has already been in the rumours.
The firm has also predicted that the iPhone 13 models would feature a next-generation SoC based on 5nm+ node that may help improve performance and bring better battery efficiency over the existing iPhone models. Further, the new iPhone versions are speculated to offer a wider 5G connectivity using millimeter wave (mmWave). There could also be upgraded display and camera sensors, the note indicated. The iPhone 13 Pro models, in particular, expected to have an improved wide-angle lens with autofocus.
Apple is likely to see a 30 percent year-on-year increase in the total iPhone shipments in the third quarter of 2021, thanks to the speculated September release of its iPhone 13 models. However, a five percent year-on-year decrease may come in the fourth quarter, as per TrendForce.
The Cupertino-based company is also predicted to see an overall increase in the iPhone sales for the second half of this year when compared with the same period last year. Further, the research firm estimated that the iPhone models could account for 16.7 percent of all smartphone shipments this year.
TrendForce has also reiterated what it mentioned in its report in June that the iPhone 13 pricing would be on par with that of the iPhone 12 series.
“As for retail prices, the iPhone 13 series is expected to remain similar to the iPhone 12 series assuming Apple is able to effectively control manufacturing costs, since the latest models do not come with significant hardware upgrades. As a result of this aggressive pricing scheme, iPhone shipment will likely maintain its growth trajectory for two consecutive years,” the firm said.
A separate report by South Korean news site The Elec says that Apple is changing the way how its camera modules for the iPhone are assembled to reduce costs.
The report said that up to last year, the company was using pre-assembled cameras produced by suppliers LG InnoTek, Sharp, and O'Film. It is now changing that tradition by consolidating its camera module production to Foxconn. This is said to help cut down the manufacturing costs to some extent. However, it isn't clear whether Apple would be willing to passing on the savings to consumers.
Foxconn is said to have procured testing equipment from Korean Hyvision System that offers automatic test and measurement systems for mobile camera modules. The equipment would be used to test lenses such as wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto, alongside optical axis and image sensors.
For the iPhone 13 models, Apple is said to have ordered a 20 percent higher amount of components over the 90 million units it booked for the iPhone 12 series. It is, however, not likely that the company would use its new production method for the upcoming iPhone 13 family as it is already speculated to be in production. Nevertheless, Apple may use Foxconn-assembled cameras on its iPhone units in the future.
Foxconn has reported strong earnings for the second quarter, but the trend isn't likely to continue as it has predicted a modest growth of 3 to 15 percent in the current quarter. The Taiwanese supplier has suggested shortage in component supplies as a key factor for its marginal growth, as reported by Reuters.
The component shortage could impact the iPhone 13 series — among other devices.
“The epidemic situation appears to be worsening in Asia,” said Foxconn Chairman Liu Young-way. “Because Asia is the key global hub for ICT components, it needs to be closely watched whether the epidemic will have an impact to the overall supply chain.”
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) also recently predicted that the global chipset shortage could be lasting into 2022.
Citing people familiar with the matter, a report by Bloomberg last month said that Apple had asked suppliers to produce 90 million next-generation iPhone models this year. This was 20 percent more than what Apple demanded last year. But with the shortage in component supply predicted by suppliers including Foxconn and TSMC, it looks uncertain for the iPhone maker to meet its demanded supplies.