Apple has asked its iPhone suppliers to ramp-up production, as the American tech giant plans to manufacture up to 96 million iPhones for the first half of 2021, according to a report by Nikkei. If the target numbers are met, they would account for about 30% YoY increase.
The Cupertino, California-based tech giant wants to increase the production to meet the increasing consumer demand for its iPhones. According to Nikkei’s sources, Apple has asked its suppliers to build 95 to 96 million iPhones for the first two quarters of 2021, and the production target includes the latest iPhone 12 lineup and older iPhones models (iPhone 11 and SE).
Besides the target for the first half of the year, Apple has shared a tentative full-year forecast with its suppliers. According to the forecast, the tech giants plans to produce up to 230 million iPhones in 2021, which would be a 20% increase compared to 2019. The targeted numbers are also close to the company’s record 231.5 million iPhones shipped in 2015.
Apple’s decision to ramp-up the production for 2021 comes as a response to the increase in demand which the company has witnessed after the launch of the iPhone 12 lineup this year. The iPhone 12 is Apple’s first phone equipped with 5G technology, and the line-up, targeting specific consumer bases, includes four different models: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max.
“The planned production for the next quarter and the following quarter have been decided and the outlook is quite bright,” an executive at a key Apple supplier said in a statement to Nikkei. “The iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max are especially stronger than we estimated, while the demand for iPhone 12 is in line with the forecast, but iPhone 12 mini is a bit sluggish,” the person added.
While the general demand for smartphones and computers has significantly increased this year due to the profound lifestyle changes brought by COVID-19 pandemic, the supply chain has been under stress which has lead to a shortage in tech components.
Although Apple has a positive outlook for 2021, the industrywide shortage of components—which will be required for the production of iPhones—might challenge the targeted numbers. The target production numbers are also subject to change, as Apple will continue to review and revise them based on the consumer demand.
Other than the increase in iPhone production, Apple is also working on several other key products and improvements planned for the year 2021. A recent report revealed that Apple is preparing its new range of custom silicon chips which are set to replace Intel’s processors in its Macs. In its push to become independent, the tech giant is also working on a custom modem to replace Qualcomm’s components in its devices.