The current record for Apple iPhone sales was set in fiscal 2015 when Apple sold 231 million units. In September 2014, Apple debuted two different screen-sizes for the iPhone by unveiling the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. There was also a design change as rounded sides replaced the flat ones first used on the iPhone 4. But records are meant to be broken and the current iPhone 12 series appears to be on track to set a new record for sales.
Analysts say that Apple is on pace to set a new record for iPhone sales this year
iPhone 12 line brings back the flat edges seen in the iPhone 4 through the iPhone 5s. We say ironically because the move away from flat edges with the iPhone 6 line was one of the changes that helped to drive sales to a record that year. Going back to the old design is one of the changes helping the latest series sell like hot cakes.According to two analysts who toil for securities firm Wedbush, Strecker Backe and Daniel Ives, Apple is on a pace that would result in iPhone sales this year between 240 million and 250 million handsets. Driving sales this year is the inclusion of 5G support for the first time. And ironically, the
Backe and Ives fresh report to clients, viewed by Cult of Mac, stated that "For the March quarter we believe builds for total iPhones have stayed in the 56 million to 62 million range. For the June quarter we believe builds have stayed basically unchanged and remain in the mid 40 million range. We have not seen a robust launch uptrend such as this in a number of years for Apple and the only iPhone trajectory similar would be the iPhone 6 in 2014 based on our analysis."
The Wedbush duo are forecasting that Apple will top Wall Street's consensus figure which calls for 220 million phones to be sold this year. The analysts' report also notes that the iPhone could be in the midst of a supercycle. "Importantly, with our estimation that 350 million of 950 million iPhones worldwide are currently in the window of an upgrade opportunity, we believe is translating into an unprecedented supercycle upgrade cycle for Cook & Co. Geographically speaking, demand in China looks strong coming out of the Chinese New Year and remains a linchpin to our Apple bull thesis. We also believe ASPs are continuing to trend higher on a positive mix of iPhone Pro versions and Pro Max shipped, which bodes well for the next few quarters with this top-line tailwind."
The only negative aspect to the iPhone 12 series is the apparent failure of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini to gain traction. Reports indicate that the device is accounting for only 4% to 6% of the 2020 models' sales. Components earmarked for the production of this particular model and reportedly being used to manufacture other iPhone 12 models instead.
The Wedbush analysts also expect strong demand to continue for the iPhone 13 (or iPhone 12s). Based on initial supply chain orders supposedly placed by Apple, the company plans on building approximately 100 million iPhone 13 units at first. That would be 25% higher than the 80 million iPhone 12 handsets that the pair believe that Apple had built to kick off production of the iPhone 12 series.
And there could be some new features for the iPhone 13 series that might attract consumers. For example, most analysts expect Apple to include a 120Hz ProMotion always-on display. This would allow the screen to update 120 times each second delivering buttery smooth scrolling and animation. Since rapid refresh rates normally drain the battery quickly, Apple could include low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) backplane technology. This would make the refresh rate variable in order to save battery life. Content that benefits from a 120Hz refresh rate would refresh on the display at that rate, while more static content such as emails and texts would refresh at a much slower pace.
We expect Apple to introduce four new models (the "mini" will apparently get another shot to redeem itself) in about six months.