In May, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo raised the idea that Apple is not planning to include its wired EarPod earbuds in the iPhone 12 box, as it has done with all previous iPhone models.
Now, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives is also saying that he is hearing the same: “our checks that likely no wired EarPods will come in the iPhone 12 box/packaging”. Ultimately, this will help Apple drive sales of its wireless AirPods earbuds ever higher.
The Wedbush analyst believes that Apple will sell 85 million AirPods units in 2020, compared to 65 million estimated in 2019.
In addition to expanding the product lineup with the noise-cancelling AirPods Pro last year, Apple is also believed to be adding a third entrant into the AirPods family: over-ear headphones dubbed ‘AirPods Studio’. These are expected to go on sale in the fall.
Regarding the iPhone 12 itself, Wedbush continues to expect a four model lineup with a mixture of 4G and 5G models. There have been mixed reports recently as to whether all iPhone 12 models would support 5G networking, and more specifically at what bands and frequencies. The two different types of ‘5G’ are millimeter wave and sub-6GHz.
Wedbush expects that the US iPhone 12 will support millimeter wave. mmWave supports high bandwidth networking but struggles penetrating walls, which means the service generally isn’t available indoors. mmWave deployment is also limited internationally, as most carriers adopt sub-6GHz for their initial 5G service.
Some good news from Wedbush is that it believes the coronavirus-induced supply chain disruptions have been addressed and Apple is on track for a relatively normal supply chain ramp of the iPhone 12. They believe Apple will be ready to ship iPhone 12 to customers in early October.
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