Although it started out strong in 2020, it appears Apple might have hit a snag when it comes to their upcoming hardware launch this month. While consumers are eager to learn more about several speculated new products, interest surrounding the iPhone 12 remains strong. So far, the company already confirmed that shipments will be delayed, a new report from a reliable supply chain insider noted that premium versions with mmWave 5G technology might miss original shipment targets for 2020.

Former KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who is now working for TF International claims the manufacturer might fall short of its original numbers due to production issues. This comes as a big surprise for the tech industry which originally speculated an unfavourable performance for this year. After Apple successfully revamped several products in its catalogue on time several months ago, many expected the same for its flagship smartphones.

According to GSMArena, Kuo believes only 4 to 6 million units of mmWave 5G handsets will ship before 2020 with 25 to 35 million to follow in 2021. Original estimates presented by the Apple pegged the targets at 10 to 20 million for this year and another 40 to 50 million units the following year. Aside from the manufacturing challenges brought about by the pandemic, the slow-paced adoption of mmWave 5G compatible base towers poses another problem

Originally, the mmWave standard was created to address areas wherein users need to simultaneously access faster mobile internet speeds. Nevertheless, the coronavirus outbreak might have presented an unexpected roadblock for network operators as people were instructed to avoid crowded places.

Based on the information provided by sources, potential buyers should know that all iPhone 12 models will include 5G. However, the entry-level versions will likely be limited to the Sub-6 GHz spectrum configuration only. Meanwhile, only the Pro variants should include support for mmWave 5G out of the box.

Apple's flagship store in Beijing
People queue up to enter a new Apple flagship store that opened in Beijing in July 2020. Photo: AFP / WANG Zhao

Depending on the mmWave 5G coverage of certain markets, some countries might not be able to maximise the full potential of their iPhone 12. So far, Kuo indicates that Japan, South Korea, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States have network facilities that can support the latest wireless technology. On the other hand, an LTE-only version is rumoured to ship.