Analyst forecasts disappointing sales for the Apple iPhone 11 series

Analyst forecasts disappointing sales for the Apple iPhone 11 series
The 2019 Apple iPhone models could be announced in just two months. We expect to see subtle differences in the dimensions of the new handsets to accommodate the larger batteries needed to help power the new reverse wireless charging feature that the new units might offer. First introduced on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and known as PowerShare on the Samsung Galaxy S10 series, reverse wireless charging will allow an iPhone 11 owner to use the back of the handset as a wireless charging pad to charge the AirPods carrying case, an Apple Watch and a compatible phone (not at the same time). But the battery of the host phone gives up the power it shares, which explains why larger capacity batteries are expected inside the 2019 iPhones.

Another change, this one less subtle, brings a controversial square camera module to the upper left corner of the new iPhones' rear panels. The module on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max will house three cameras while the one on the iPhone 11R will contain a pair of sensors. The design is controversial because, well, many consider it to be jarring and ugly. Renders of the new iPhones and accessories dovetail with this new look, which will also be used on the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.

The 2018 iPhones have been struggling at the cash register and according to Seeking Alpha, we should see more of the same with the new units. Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang told clients today that sales of the 2019 models will be disappointing and he also sees the recent growth in iPad sales slowing over the second half of 2019. For the company's fiscal second quarter, which ran from January through March of this year, iPad revenue surprisingly rose 22% year-over-year to $4.87 billion. The tablet market has been weak and the iPad was not exempt. However, the new iPad Pro models launched late last year and the two new tablets released this past March have breathed some life into the unit.

Two of the three iPhone models expected next year will support 5G connectivity

The analyst notes that sales of other Apple devices like the HomePod, AirPod, and Apple Watch don't contribute enough to the company's revenue to help right the ship. Even Apple's Services unit, its second largest and most profitable, won't stop the bleeding Zhang says. Apple has been looking to double the revenue of this key division from $25 billion in 2016 to $50 billion by next year. During its fiscal second quarter, the division snagged $11.45 billion in sales. The focus on the Services unit is a response to the decline in iPhone shipments seen since the peak year of 2015 when 231.22 million units were delivered worldwide. For fiscal 2018, Apple shipped 217.72 million handsets globally. Sales of the iPhone have been hurt by what has been perceived to be a lack of innovation on Apple's part, higher pricing, and less expensive full-featured Android phones. The OnePlus 7 Pro would be a good example of the latter. But Apple has such a large number of active units that the plan is to sell recurring monthly subscriptions (like Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade) to iPhone owners. The division also includes the App Store, AppleCare, iTunes and iCloud.

The securities firm sees "fundamental deterioration" in Apple's earnings over the next 6 to 12 months and has dropped its rating on the company's stock from "Hold" to "Sell."  Zhang has a $150 target price on the stock, a decline of 25% from the shares' current valuation of nearly $200.

Next year's models will be redesigned, according to reliable TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo expects three models in 2020, two of them with 5G support. The "Max" model will be equipped with a slightly larger 6.7-inch display while the standard unit will have a smaller 5.4-inch screen. These two phones will be 5G enabled unlike the more affordable 2020 iPhone, which will feature 4G LTE connectivity only. The latter model will continue to sport a 6.1-inch display according to Kuo.

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