Apple is expected to release a 5G-equipped iPhone in 2020 powered by chipsets from Qualcomm and Samsung that would take the total iPhone shipments to 195-200 million units in two years, according to Apple expert and predictor Ming-Chi Kuo.
Earlier in April, Apple and Qualcomm settled their long-drawn legal war over patents and licensing at an undisclosed amount and Apple agreed to buy chips from Qualcomm again as part of the settlement, CNBC reported on Monday.
"We expect Apple will likely adopt 5G baseband chips made by Qualcomm (focus on mmWave markets) and Samsung (focus on Sub-6GHz markets) for lowering supply risk, reducing costs and having better bargaining power," the report quoted the TF International Securities analyst Kuo as saying.
According to him, the introduction of a 5G-enabled iPhone could create a wave of upgrades and purchases, especially for high-end models.
So far, 2015 has been Apple's best year in terms of iPhone shipments when the company sold around 231 million smartphones. After facing a drop in sales, the company, in 2018, said it sold over 217 million iPhones.
"We are positive on the high-end iPhone models' replacement demand in the second half of 2020 thanks to the 5G iPhone. We expect the total iPhone shipment will respectively reach 188-192 million and 195-200 million units in 2019 and 2020," Kuo said.
Apple is also working on redesigning the printed circuit boards to be included in 2019 iPhone models using a new kind of material to clear out space for a bigger battery, he added.
In addition to Kuo's predictions of the Qualcomm and Samsung modems, Kuo previously predicted the iPhone maker also working on improving the cameras on its 2019 phone lineup.
While the front camera would be upgraded from 7-megapixel to 12-megapixel, the triple-camera set-up would be implemented in the upcoming 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch OLED iPhones, along with one 12-megapixel telephoto lens and two super-wide 12-megapixel lenses.