Highlights of the day: Apple suppliers brace for weak 5G iPhone shipments in 2020


Apple is expected to launch its 5G iPhone later this year, but its supply chain partners are now much less optimistic about shipments for the new devices that reportedly will support mmWave in 2020. Apple has been relying mostly on Taiwan-based manufacturers for assembling its devices, but Chinese makers are now gaining ground, as the US client looks to diversify its supply chain. ABF susbstrate suppliers stand to lose orders from Huawei because of US sanctions on the Chinese firm, but they will expect tight supply of their products because of demand from other clients.

5G iPhone shipments may be much weaker than expected in 2020, say sources: Shipments of mmWave-enabled 5G iPhones slated for launch later this year are estimated to reach only 15-20 million units in 2020 compared to a previous supply chain estimate of 30-40 million units, intensifying competition among Apple's suppliers of FC-AiP substrates for the new phones, according to industry sources.

Chinese firms gaining significant ground in Apple devices assembly chain: In order to cut costs, diversify production risks and better tap the Chinese market, Apple has allowed Chinese partners to play an increasingly important role in assembling diverse devices including iPads, Apple Watches and AirPods, posing growing threats to the vendor's existing Taiwan-based assemblers, according to industry sources.

ABF substrate supply to stay tight despite Huawei woes: Taiwan-based IC substrate suppliers including Unimicron Technology and Nan Ya PCB are expected to continue experiencing tight supply of ABS substrates throughout 2020 despite losses of orders from Huawei, but their profitability may fall slightly, according to industry sources.