Apple will sell around 10 percent more iPhones in the first quarter of 2020, thanks to strong replacement demand for its iPhone 11 series devices and next year’s launch of the “iPhone SE 2,” claims Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in his latest research note, seen by MacRumors.
We expect that combined iPhone shipments in 1Q20 will grow around 10% YoY thanks to the iPhone 11’s replacement demand boosted by more affordable prices and iPhone SE2’s shipments starting in 1Q20. We estimate that iPhone shipment in 1Q20 will be 45–50mn units (iPhone 11 Pro series and iPhone 11 to be 13–15 and 22–24mn units, respectively), which is better than around 42mn units of iPhone shipments in 1Q19 (iPhone XS series and iPhone XR to be around 12 and 14mn units, respectively).
The TFI Securities analyst estimates that iPhone 11 series shipments will reach between 70 and 75 million units in 2019, and he believes that figure may have been higher but for supply constraints. Kuo has previously indicated Apple may have upped orders from suppliers after stronger-than-expected demand for its latest flagship phones.
Specifically, Kuo estimates that shipments of the iPhone 11 Pro in 2019 will be around 37-40 million units, and shipments of the iPhone 11 will be around 36 to 40 million units.
If those figures are accurate, Kuo says Pro series shipments will be lower than last year’s equivalent iPhone XS shipments, but only because of a tighter supply caused by “increased production difficulties” of specific iPhone 11 Pro components. Meanwhile, shipments of iPhone 11 will be higher than 2018’s iPhone XR, mainly because the iPhone XR didn’t start shipping until the middle of the fourth quarter.
Kuo says Apple has increased some suppliers’ shipment forecasts or capacity requirements in the fourth quarter to ensure that shipments going into next year meet demand. Boosted by more affordable prices, the high replacement demand for the iPhone 11 could run into the first quarter of 2020, the analyst believes. As a result, Kuo estimates that “iPhone 11 shipments in 1Q20 (22–24mn units) will be better than those of iPhone XR in 1Q19 (14mn units) significantly.”
Kuo has previously claimed that Apple plans to release a lower-priced “iPhone SE 2” in the first quarter of 2020. Earlier this month, he said the device will feature a similar form factor design and specifications as the iPhone 8, with a faster A13 chip and 3GB of RAM.