UBS: Apple’s 5G iPhones may not arrive before 2021, if then

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Analyst Timothy Arcuri sees problems with each of the most-likely suppliers.


CNBC has the goods:

There is “increasing potential that Apple may not be able to ship a 5G iPhone for 2020,” UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri said in a note to investors on Tuesday.

UBS thinks the lack of a 5G-capable iPhone by next year is “not good” for Apple but the impact of the delay will likely be mitigated by the slowing speed customers are replacing old iPhones.

The delay in part comes from the lack of a smartphone processing chip compatible with 5G, according to Arcuri. UBS does not think Intel will be ready with a chip, while neither Samsung or MediaTek “are unlikely solutions” for Apple, Arcuri said. The analyst believes Apple is aiming for 2021, although that is still a “big technical hurdle.”

“Though lack of 5G phone next year would be a near-term headwind, our install base and replacement analysis suggests iPhone can ultimately grow over the longer term,” Arcuri said.

Maintains Buy rating and $215 price target.

My take: When the time is ripe for 5G iPhones, Apple will find a way to get its hands on the modems, even if it has to roll its own.