Qualcomm Supply Issues Providing Further Fuel for Speculation of Fall iPhone Release

Qualcomm yesterday warned analysts that it is experiencing supply issues with some of its advanced mobile phone chips, particularly its new 28-nm modem chips set to power the next wave of LTE devices.

"At this stage we cannot secure enough supply to meet the increasing demand we are experiencing," Chief Executive Paul Jacobs told analysts on a conference call, adding that the issue would limit revenue growth this year. [...]

"Demand went so far ahead of availability that we've decided to start spending more money to get more supply as soon as possible," [Chief Financial Officer Bill Keitel] told Reuters. "Any time we can't make a customer totally happy I'm going to worry. You don't want to give a customer a reason to go elsewhere."

As a result of the issues, analysts believe that vendors may have to slow their rollout of new devices, and a report out today from Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster predicts that the next-generation iPhone will arrive in October.


Qualcomm's LTE modem roadmap (Source: AnandTech)

Munster had previously been modeling for an August launch as a hedge between those thinking the device may arrive in June and those thinking it will arrive in a September-October timeframe similar to the iPhone 4S. Apple is expected to use Qualcomm's 28-nm MDM9615 modem chip in its next-generation iPhone to provide LTE data and voice services, and the chip appears to be one of those impacted by Qualcomm's supply issues.

QCOM will likely support an Apple iPhone launch in October. Based on our checks, we believe the design win momentum of QCOM's 28nm products has been exceptionally strong and a 28nm LTE baseband is likely designed into the next iPhone. QCOM's supply issue likely pushes the launch of the iPhone to October. Based on the increased capital spending this year from TSMC and QCOM's efforts over the last quarter to port its 28nm designs to UMC and probably Global Foundries, we think QCOM will have the capacity to support a Q4 LTE iPhone 5 launch. Moreover, the slow wireless infrastructure spending in 1H:12 is also likely a result of the lack of availability of a low power 28nm LTE baseband modem.

Apple may have been planning for a September-October iPhone launch all along, but Qualcomm's issues seem to make it less likely that those holding out hope for an earlier launch will see something closer to the June-July timeframe that had been the traditional launch window prior to last year.

Munster believes that it is "irrelevant" whether the iPhone launches in August as his model currently predicts or in October, with the primary driver of success being whether the upgrade is a compelling one for consumers. And with the next-generation iPhone expected to offer LTE support and carry a redesigned form factor, it seems likely that it will be an attractive device for both new and upgrade customers.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
111 months ago
Love to see the next iPhone mid year but I'd be surprised. Everything points towards the cycle of q1 iPad, q2-q3 mac, q4 iPhone. Spreads the announcements and focus throughout the year.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
The iPhone was never going to launch in June:
1) No iPhone has ever been released without a new version of iOS to go along with it.
2) iOS 6 has not even hit beta stage yet. It would have done so already like in years previous to 2011.
3) The current iPhone would only be 9 months old in June.
4) Because LTE networks are just being built, the longer they wait, the more of them there are.
5) There is almost zero chance TSMC would have produced enough Qualcomm LTE chipsets for a June launch. That means they would be making them in volume right now, which I doubt since Qualcomm has prioritized its 28nm orders for the MSM8960 for launch in phones right now.

The one thing Apple cannot keep secret is road maps of partners products and their past history. Combine the two together and you can see why any suggestion of a June launch is delusional.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago

I work in a public school and you should see all the education acronyms! At our monthly staff meetings, we have this tall bottle. If someone says an acronym & doesn't say what it means, they have to put in a dollar and all money collected gets donated to a charity or something. Pretty funny.

Don't you mean LOL?

;)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago

I'll believe it when I see it.


Believe what? That these chips are going to be delayed?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
There are so many different mobile acronyms...


QCOM, LTE, Hspa+, Hspa, TD-, SCDMA the list goes on!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
Hope it supports 4G in Europe..
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

iPhone 12 Models Might Support Reverse Charging of Future Apple Accessories According to FCC Filing

Tuesday October 27, 2020 6:25 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, according to an FCC filing discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz. In the filing, Apple said that 2020 iPhones support a wireless charging function that will seemingly be enabled for at least one future Apple accessory:In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones...