An overnight supply chain report suggested that the A14 chip that will power the upcoming “iPhone 12” will see massive delays. However, J.P. Morgan’s Gokul Hariharan throws some serious shade on the questionable report but says other factors could hold up production of the new handset for up to two months.
In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, Hariharan has thrown in his own two cents on the rumors that the A14 chip will be pushed out up to two quarters past the expected mass production. Hariharan says Apple has already okayed the final design of the 5nm A14 chip, with production expected to start soon.
“We also believe that meaningful wafer starts for new iPhones should commence in April – May timeframe and TSMC is unlikely to see a meaningful bottleneck in production process,” wrote Hariharan. “We believe that the 5nm process node has been ramping up reasonably smoothly through 4Q19 and 1Q20.”
However, Hariharan does believe that some delay past the traditional September iPhone release could occur, with other factors contributing to a possible delay.
Hariharan sees the iPhone 12’s first engineering verification tests being completed in April, which is a bit later than in recent years. Hariharan says production verification tests and pilot production tests are scheduled for late June, also later than in previous years.
Testing delays and other economic factors could cause the new iPhones to not ship until October or November, similar to how the iPhone X shipped a few years back.
“We believe that a 1-2 month delay in iPhone launch could indeed happen, but we do not believe that a one-to-two quarter delay is very likely. Delay in US 5G network buildout with the current lock-downs is possibly the main risk for a meaningful push-out in 5G iPhone launches,” writes Hariharan. “Even then, we believe that Apple is only likely to push out mmWave 5G launches and still use an upgraded processor (A14) for all its new iPhones in 2H20.”