Apple will benefit from iPhone 12 5G super-cycle; "it's the perfect storm," says analyst
The release of the first 5G iPhone models later this year could set off a new super-cycle according to Apple perma-bull Daniel Ives, who works for investment banking firm Wedbush. AppleInsider got a peek at a note that Ives sent to clients; in it, he says that Apple's supply chain has returned to normal putting "Cook & Co. back in the drivers seat to launch this 5G cycle in this typical September timeframe." The analyst now rejects earlier forecasts that called for the first 5G iPhones to be launched in November around the same time that the iPhone X was released in 2017.
Perfect Storm will lead to the next iPhone super-cycle says Wall Street analyst
Ives stated back in March that a super-cycle was coming for the iPhone. He cited what he called "a perfect storm" made up of four new 5G iPhone models and a redesign. Apple is removing the rounded sides off of the 2020 iPhone models and is making them flat similar to what users saw on the iPhone 4. Ives expects Apple will introduce the new handsets in late September and start delivering them in early October. Not only is that in-line with Apple's traditional iPhone announcement and launch dates, it also jives with supply chain checks made by Wedbush.
We should see Apple unveil four different 5G iPhones this year including the 5.4-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Plus, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. The two standard models will support the slower sub-6GHz 5G signals while the Pro units will work with the faster mmWave 5G airwaves. Ives says that Apple has fixed the connectivity problems that it was suffering with which should lead to a smooth launch of the 5G models this year. The analyst says that Apple is entering a super-cycle with 350 million of the 950 million active iPhone models ready to be replaced. And with Apple ready to place a low price tag on the 128GB iPhone 12, the company is pulling out all of the stops in an effort to get iPhone users to upgrade this year. So Wedbush has its bullish case for Apple despite the "dark COVID-19 backdrop and a soft macro." The latter refers to the weak economic conditions caused by the pandemic.
With many Americans out of work, buying a new iPhone might not be uppermost on their minds. And the rollout of 5G in the states is happening at a slow but steady pace. T-Mobile has the only nationwide coverage in the U.S. and until the carrier completes the build-out, T-Mobile is relying on its slow 600MHz low-band spectrum to deliver 5G coast to coast. The point is that this might not be the optimal time to buy a new 5G iPhone when you're out of a job and have hungry mouths to feed.
Wedbush analysts checked Apple's supply chain and found that as rumored, the iPhone 12 line will not come with EarPods in the box; this is being done to help Apple increase AirPods sales. That bit of gamesmanship, says Wedbush, could help Apple increase AirPods shipments by 20 million (or 30.8%) this year to 85 million units.
Next Monday, Apple will kick off its annual WWDC Developers Conference; because of the pandemic, the conference will be streamed starting next Monday, June 22nd starting at 1 pm EDT. The stream will be free and we should hear what Apple has in mind for iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and more. The Keynote will be streamed from Apple.com, the Apple Developer website, and the Apple Developer app. It also will be live-streamed on YouTube. You can set a reminder from the YouTube link to make sure that you won't miss the festivities.
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