Apple is set to start production on its first 5G iPhones in mid-September, according to a Tuesday report by the Nikkei Asian Review. That will reportedly shorten the production delay to weeks rather than months, given the coronavirus pandemic.
The phones will be manufactured starting on a limited scale, and mass production is slated to take place gradually between late September and early October, according to the report. In previous years, Apple has started mass production in August for devices launched in September, but this is still reportedly a quicker timetable than where things stood a few months ago, people familiar with the matter told the Nikkei Asian Review.
Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The delays could still mean Apple falls short of its yearly production target, the report notes. While the company reportedly ordered components for up to 80 million 5G phones, the actual number of devices produced this year could be closer to 73 or 74 million. The remaining phones would be postponed to early next year, people familiar with the matter told the publication.
Meanwhile, the tech giant has reportedly increased manufacturing orders for the latest iPads as people continue to work and learn remotely.
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5G iPhone production will reportedly kick off with at least one model: the lowest-priced, 6.1-inch OLED screen version, which has two rear cameras. This handset makes up around 40% of the company's production orders for 5G phones, sources told the publication. The priciest model will be a 6.7-inch 5G device with three rear cameras, the report notes.
Apple has also reportedly started production on AirTags, rumored tracker tags that would serve as competitors to the Tile smart tracker, allowing users to find important items such as keys or a backpack.