The Apple iPhone 5 looks set to be the major launch of the year with many analysts predicting more phenomenal success for Apple with the next iPhone. Traditionally sales of the latest iPhone are always massive but the iPhone 5 in particular is predicted to be so huge that it could shake up the global supply economy.
The iPhone 4S was seen by many people as a minor upgrade rather than a major revamp (although some would dispute that). As many people held off purchasing it because there was no design change, there’s already a huge potential customer base for the iPhone 5. Add to this those purchasing an iPhone for the first time, those upgrading from earlier models, the likely addition of LTE connectivity and the headway that Apple is making in the China market and we can take it as read that the iPhone 5 will sell in unprecedented numbers.
The upcoming iPhone 5 has even been blamed for recent news that for the first time since 2009, global mobile phone sales have dropped. Analysts feel that this is mainly because smartphone customers are holding off making new purchases in expectation of the next iPhone. We recently told of a report from Piper Jaffray analysts Gene Munster and Douglas J. Clinton that gave some clues about the iPhone 5 and also told how it was expected that the iPhone 5 would be the biggest product launch of the year. They also referred to the iPhone 5 as the biggest upgrade cycle “in smartphone history,” so all of these factors together gives a good indication of just how successful the next iPhone will be.
The impact of sales of the iPhone 5 and the finances involved then will massively affect the global supply economy. This will be particularly evident among suppliers of parts for the iPhone 5 bearing in mind that we expect to see quite a few changes in companies used. Slash Gear reports on some of the supply change leaks referring to several recent reports from China. Firstly it’s said that Apple has placed an order with Elpida, which produces flash memory products, for more than half of their parts in-house. Elpida is a competitor with Samsung, with whom Apple has a long-running and well-documented dispute.
Next we hear that a group in China called TXC, a quartz crystal device producer, has also been given orders for component parts for the next iPhone. DigiTimes has reported that TXC is also supplying orders with Samsung for its upcoming Galaxy S3, the iPhone 5’s main rival. As well as this many readers will already know of Foxconn’s connections with Apple as its main China-based supplier for the iPhone and iPad and the company has now placed an order with Sharp for displays. Foxconn will purchase up to 50% of Sharp’s large LCD panels and modules from its Osaka, Japan plant. This makes perfect sense as Sharp had already been heavily rumored to be a parts supplier for iPhone 5 panels.
In final supply news, Apple and Foxconn are currently in plans together to establish a brand-new factory in China, dedicated to making parts for Apple products. As you can see, the finances involved from such a major product as the iPhone 5 could really see some shifts in the global supply economy, with some companies set to be big winners while others will lose out. One thing for sure about the iPhone 5 is that it’s set to fly off the shelves when it finally releases, most likely in the fall.
We’d like to hear what readers think about the upcoming iPhone 5. Have you already decided to purchase it, even before any specs or features are confirmed? Do you agree with the analysts who say this will be the biggest upgrade cycle “in smartphone history?” Maybe you feel such high expectations could lead to disappointment for some when the iPhone 5 is launched? Let us know by sending your comments.