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New report describes Apple’s plan for iPhones (and other gadgets) this year

A new report from Bloomberg’s Debby Wu and Mark Gurman says that Apple has commissioned its suppliers to build “at least 75 million” 5G iPhones. It’s in the ballpark of what was produced last year, so Apple expects strong sales despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More interesting for our purposes here, however, are goodies about what these iPhones – and other Apple products that are planned to be launched this year – look like.

Referring to people familiar with the situation, the Bloomberg story claims that Apple has a busy holiday ahead of it. Sources say that Apple plans to launch four 5G iPhone models, a new iPad Air, two new Apple Watch models, over-earphones and a new HomePod speaker. They also point to a modestly updated Apple TV 4K and the long-renowned AirTags product, but history did not claim that they will come this year.

Let’s start with iPhones. Bloomberg’s sources say that there will be two beginner models (up from one last year, iPhone 11) and two advanced successors to the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. While the main division between the cheaper iPhone and the more expensive siblings has been the choice between an LCD and an OLED screen in the last couple of years, the sources claim that all four new iPhone models will have OLED screens.

These screens also come in new sizes. The cheaper iPhones come in 5.4- and 6.1-inch variants, while the premium options come in 6.1 and 6.7-inch variants. All four devices will also have 5G, although sources say that some testers have reported that this feature has not improved the wireless data speeds much on current new 5G networks.

Either way, the phones will all have Apple’s new A14 system-on-a-chip and see a significant redesign – the first major since the introduction of the iPhone X in 2017. All four phones will have square edges, similar to the iPad. Pro or in some respects iPhone 4 and 5 from previous years. The two cheaper models have aluminum edges, while the more expensive ones have stainless steel – the same split we see between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro today.

Apple also plans to increase the Midnight Green color it introduced for high-end iPhones last year and replace it with a new dark blue layout.

Apple has already signaled to investors that the new iPhones will be shipped a few weeks after last year’s models did so. That said, iOS 14 is still expected to launch in September. (In the past, the release has been closely linked to the first new iPhone this year.)

As for the other products mentioned in the report, the new iPad Air is expected to have an edge-to-edge screen similar to the design of the latest iPad Pro models. The two new Apple watches include a successor to the Series 5, as well as a replacement for the Series 3 at a lower price. Apple also plans to introduce earphones that carry the Apple brand name instead of Beats, and a smaller HomePod speaker that buys fewer speakers at a lower price.

All of these products are scheduled to be launched by the end of this year, which means that Apple has a very busy season ahead. However, specific launch dates are not known for any of them, except for the aforementioned plan to launch new iPhones a few weeks later than last year.

Listing image by Samuel Axon

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