Apple reportedly boosts iPhone 12 chip orders amid coronavirus chaos

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Right to Repair
Apple's first 5nm chips are expected to ship in iPhone and iPad this year.
Photo: iFixit

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak will have no impact on Apple’s plans for its next-generation 5-nanometer chip rollout, one reliable analyst reported today.

Apple is believed to have aggressively increased its orders for the new processors, which will power this year’s iPhone and iPad Pro — as well as Apple’s first Arm-powered Mac that is said to be scheduled for early 2021.

“The 5nm process will be the core technology for Apple’s new products in 12–18 months,” reads the latest report from reliable TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, seen by Cult of Mac.

“Therefore, the COVID-19 has no impact on Apple’s investments for 5nm, and Apple has increased shipment forecasts and pulled in for 5nm-related equipment after the epidemic outbreak.”

Apple’s upgrade to 5-nanometer chips

Kuo added that these 5nm products are “critical” to Apple’s product strategy for the coming years. Its increased orders of 30-40% will occupy more manufacturing resources, hindering development for its competitors.

Taiwanese company CHPT, which is thought to be playing a part in chipset manufacturing, will be a leading beneficiary of Apple’s increased orders, Kuo said. Its revenue and earnings are likely to beat market expectations as a result.

Apple is said to have become “more aggressive” during the research, development, and production processes of its next-generation chipset family, which will rollout this year with what is likely to be named the A14 Bionic.

Next-gen A14 chip coming this year

Apple traditionally introduces its latest chip in the fall with a next-generation iPhone before bringing it to iPad later on. That means the rumored iPad Pro refresh for this spring is likely to come with A13X Bionic chips. The 2018 iPad Pro lineup on sale today is powered by A12X Bionic chips.

The A12 chip family is manufactured using a 7nm+ process. The switch to 5nm manufacturing should make the A14 even faster and more efficient than its predecessor.