Apple may end up releasing not three, but four new iPhones in fall 2020, according to a new forecast by JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee. The note also predicts a massive change to how Apple announces iPhones starting in 2021.
While both parts of the rumor are a bit unexpected compared to most other reports we have, they could make sense based on Apple’s rumored 2020 iPhone lineup and the company’s overall future roadmap.
Four New iPhones in 2020?
In a new research note based on supply channel checks, Chatterjee said he expects Apple to release a 5.4-inch iPhone, two 6.1-inch iPhones and one 6.7-inch iPhone in the latter half of next year.
All of those devices are expected to sport OLED displays and 5G connectivity, the analyst added.
Chatterjee adds that the lower-end iPhones would support low-band 6 GHz 5G and would sport dual-camera setups without any sort of 3D sensing systems.
Here’s how that appears to break down.
- The smaller 5.4-inch iPhone could be a budget device in the same vein as the iPhone 11 or iPhone SE.
- The base model premium iPhone would see a bump from 5.8-inches to 6.1-inches.
- Apple would release a new 6.1-inch model to fill the gap between the 5.4-inch device and the higher-end 6.7-inch device.
Based on all of these predictions, it looks like there will be a split between Apple’s premium flagships and its lower-end devices in the 5G connectivity and camera area.
Which makes sense, since Apple will likely cut costs by only implementing low-band 5G support in its cheaper handsets and keeping the camera setup simple.
That does seem to conflict with past reports about Apple’s 5G iPhone plans, which suggested that the company would make the 5G connectivity options streamlined across its lineup.
Change of Direction in 2021?
Interestingly, Chatterjee also gave some of his firm’s expectations for Apple’s roadmap in 2021. As the analyst puts it: “Based on our supply chain checks, we are expecting a strategic change in the launch cadence.”
More specifically, the analyst said he believes Apple will release two new iPhone models in the first half of the year and two new iPhone models in the latter half of the year.
- Using the predicted 2020 lineup as a baseline, it appears that Apple could release its lower-end iPhones at some type of spring event.
- The pair of flagship devices would then see a launch at the normal fall keynote.
According to Chatterjee, that change in launch timelines could allow Apple to better compete with competitors that launch devices throughout the year.
It could also “limit product cycle missteps,” specifically by allowing Apple to change its designs in response to consumer feedback much more quickly.
Of course, Chatterjee’s prediction would see Apple release four new iPhones in fall 2020 and two new iPhones just a few months later in spring 2021. That, admittedly, is a bit of a stretch.
Still, the timeline change would make a lot of sense for Apple. In addition to Chatterjee’s forecast, it could also allow the Cupertino tech giant’s devices to command the news sphere for a larger portion of the year.