That’s the prediction of well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. As AppleInsider reports, Kuo believes Apple is attempting to keep sub-6GHz 5G tech costs between $75-$85, where as millimeter wave tech costs are thought to be in the $125-$135 range. To offset those, Apple is looking to not only squeeze its battery suppliers for lower pricing, but to switch to cheaper, smaller batteries.
The intention is to use a battery for the iPhone 12 that costs 40-50% less than the battery used in the iPhone 11. Then for the iPhone 12S, a further 30-40% cost reduction is expected compared to the iPhone 12 battery. How does Apple achieve such savings? Firstly, it’s moving to a less complex battery structure by reducing the number of rigid-flex battery boards (the PCB sitting at one end of the battery pack) allowing for the battery to fit into a smaller area. Secondly, the battery capacity is being reduced based on regulatory filings discovered last month.
The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro used 3,110mAh and 3,190mAh battery capacities respectively. For the iPhone 12, three of the four models are expected to rely on 2,227mAh, 2,775mAh, and 2,815mAh battery capacities. It seems unlikely Apple will want to offer an iPhone 12 with poorer battery life than its predecessor, so clearly it’s made some major efficiency gains in the components being used to allow for the smaller batteries. The one outlier here is the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which will use a 3,687mAh battery compared to the 3,500mAh found in the 11 Pro Max.
The iPhone 12 is expected to be launched in late October this year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on production and supply chains. The launch is also thought to be split into two stages, with the 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch models not arriving until late November. Don’t expect a charger or EarPods in the box this time, either.