Apple plans major boost for iPhone in 1H 2021

It would appear that the lull in smartphone sales for 2020 was just that – a temporary situation. A report from Nikkei Asia suggests that the first half of 2021 will see Apple increase production by 30% year-on-year. A combination of demand for the first 5G-enabled iPhone and COVID-19 vaccination distribution worldwide appear to be paving the way for a monstrous year for Apple.

"The planned production for the next quarter and the following quarter have been decided and the outlook is quite bright," said an unnamed executive at a "key" Apple supplier speaking with Nikkei Asia this week. Apple may have a challenge on their hands regardless of demand from consumers, as manufacturing shortages continue after an uncertain year in all arenas.

Sources suggest that the target Apple has in mind is "up to 230 million iPhones in 2021." That'd include models across the range, including iPhone 12 and iPhone SE (see our iPhone SE 2nd Gen review). If Apple does indeed reach this target, they'd secure an approximately 20% rise over the year 2019, and an even more impressive metric VS 2020 (which does not have total year manufacturing / shipping / sales tabulated as yet).

Apple's previous record for most iPhones shipped in a year came in the year 2015, when that number hit 231.5 million units. Apple may not reach that number in 2021, but today's news suggests they'll be getting closer than 2019 and 2020.

"The iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max are especially stronger than we estimated," said the unnamed manufacturing leader speaking with Nikkei, "while the demand for iPhone 12 is in line with the forecast, but iPhone 12 mini is a bit sluggish."

Take a peek at our review of the iPhone 12 mini as well as our iPhone 12 and Pro review to see what these devices are all about. We're expecting Apple to reveal a new iPhone range in 2021, but that (as usual) the bulk of iPhone sales for the year will center on the range revealed the year before – in this case: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and iPhone SE 2nd Gen.