iPhone shipments to reach over 230 million in 2015
The 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions of the next iPhone, rumored to be called iPhone 6S, will enter mass production in June 2015 and be shipped in the third quarter of the year, with the quarterly shipments projected to reach 24 million units, according to TrendForce.
By the fourth quarter, the next iPhone will be released in greater quantities with estimated quarterly shipments surpassing 50 million. The new model will help drive 2015 shipments of all iPhones to over 230 million, resulting in a yearly shipment growth of 20%. The next iPhone is also estimated to represent more than 35% of total iPhone shipments in 2015.
The firm said the next iPhone’s mobile DRAM will upgrade from LPDDR3 to LPDDR4, and that memory capacity per iPhone will double from 1GB to 2GB. With the new model scheduled for shipments in the third quarter, Apple’s main mobile DRAM suppliers Samsung and SK Hynix are going to set aside capacities for LPDDR4 production. Using the capacities of 25nm or 20nm processes as references, the next iPhone with its 2GB of memory will effectively consume an additional 20,000 wafers per month compared with its 1GB predecessors.
The next iPhone is very likely to have its minimum storage capacity raised from 16GB to 32GB, so storage options would range from 32GB and 64GB to 128GB. It is expected that TLC-based NAND flash will be carried on the 64GB and 128GB versions, which TrendForce estimates will also make up over 50% of next-generation iPhone shipments in 2015. Owing to the drive from the next-generation models, approximately 18% of all NAND flash consumption in 2015 will come from iPhones, the firm said.
There is a strong possibility that the next iPhone will feature Apple’s "Force Touch" technology, which is a pressure-sensitive touch module that produces different commands and feedback depending on how long or hard the user presses the touchscreen. The Force Touch module will be a notable improvement in smartphone touch displays as it adds many potential functions. The design of this new touch technology is likely to have a flexible printed circuit (FPC) that is located under the LCD module to control the sensor. US-based Analog Devices is the expected candidate supplier of the next iPhone’s Force Touch sensor ICs, which will come with a firmware designed by Apple.