iPhone 11 Screens Rene HeroSource: Rene Ritchie

What you need to know

  • Apple is planning to up its iPhone output slightly over the next year.
  • It will make 213 million phones, 4% more than the same period last year.
  • That's despite the fact its stores are closed, and concern over waning demand.

A Nikkei Asian Review report claims Apple plans to increase its iPhone manufacturing compared to last year, even though all of its stores are closed.

According to its report:

Apple has notified several of its suppliers that it plans to make about 213 million iPhones in the 12 months through March 2021, up 4% from the same period a year ago, Nikkei has learned.

The report claims that Apple is "expected to build up inventories of its new 5G phones due to concerns over possible component shortages, despite the possibility of falling global demand." Clearly, Apple seems more concerned at this stage with the impact the coronavirus pandemic might have on the supply of its iPhone and components, rather than any dampening of consumer enthusiasm over its latest release. According to the report, Apple is splitting production between the iPhone SE and 5G iPhones 50-50. This is actually quite the revelation, suggesting that Apple believes its iPhone SE will be very popular.

Comments within the report notes that Apple's production outlet, which would be 4% higher than last year, is "pretty bullish" and that "we will need to assess whether it is based on a realistic demand [forecast]".

Even if Apple's 5G iPhone lineup is over-supplied at launch, increased manufacturing would serve to supplement demand over the holiday period and into next year, essentially, Apple could frontload its iPhone production over the coming months, perhaps toning it down later in the year.

A recent report suggested that Apple could sell as many as 15 million iPhone SE units this year.