In a nutshell: The ongoing global chip shortage isn't expected to have an impact on Cupertino's plans. Apple is TSMC's biggest customer, and the annual iPhone launch is a massive event that suppliers can reliably count on each year. New handsets are also expected to be unveiled one month earlier than they were a year ago.
Apple has reportedly asked suppliers to increase the output of next-gen iPhones through the end of the year by 20 percent.
Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Apple has ordered as many as 90 million units for the initial run to get the company through the end of 2021. According to the publication, Apple has in recent years maintained a consistent level of around 75 million units for the same period.
The increase seems to suggest that Apple believes demand will be high for its next iPhone cycle, the first since Covid-19 vaccines became available.
As for the iPhone 13, sources say this year’s update will fall more into the category of “incremental” compared to the iPhone 12. Apple is expected to upgrade the processor, display and camera in all four models and announce them in September, one month earlier than it did last year thanks to a stronger supply chain.
Aside from making the front-facing camera and face unlock sensor cutout smaller, the new iPhones will largely remain unchanged in terms of design compared to the current-gen models. Sources claim at least one model will feature a low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) display, a variable refresh rate technology that can boost battery life by lowering the refresh rate when applicable. 5G connectivity is also expected to continue to drive iPhone sales into the next generation.