True cost of 5G in iPhone 12 revealed, and it's good news

Iphone 12 Design Leak
Iphone 12 Design Leak (Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

What you need to know

  • 5G in the iPhone 12 will not significantly increase its cost.
  • That's according to the latest from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
  • Apple is going to offset the cost by saving money on other components.

A new report from Ming-Chi Kuo says that the adoption of 5G in the iPhone 12 will not "significantly" increase the cost of the device, despite the more expensive components required.

In a research note seen by iMore, Kuo reports that several Apple suppliers are being squeezed by Cupertino, as it exerts more bargaining pressure on suppliers to save on the cost of other parts.

Kuo notes that the cost of 5G in the iPhone 12 is around $75-85 for sub-6 5G (the slower version) and around $125-135 for mmWave (the faster version). Kuo says that in order to maintain sales momentum, Apple will not significantly increase the price of the iPhone 12, despite this increase in cost.

Instead, Apple plans to use cheaper components in other parts of the iPhone to reduce cost, but only on the premise that it doesn't hamper the user experience. As a result, Apple suppliers are finding themselves under increased bargaining pressure this quarter.

Notable savings include a new battery panel which is 40-50% cheaper than the iPhone 11. Looking further ahead, Kuo says the 2021 iPhone will use a totally new battery panel, which is 30-40% cheaper than the one featuring this year.

As early as April, Jon Prosser leaked what he says are the upcoming prices for the iPhone 12. Apple is expected to launch four new models of iPhone in three different sizes, all featuring 5G:

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Kuo's latest report seems to confirm that even though the new iPhone 12 will be more expensive to make because of 5G, Apple will be able to save enough money on other parts that we shouldn't see too much of a price increase if any when the phone is released.

The latest rumors suggest the new iPhone may be released in October, but that the Pro models may not come out until November.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9