It really feels that everything about 2020 is off-kilter. One of the biggest questions in the mobile world is whether Apple will still be able to stick to its traditional time schedule for the release of the 2020 iPhone models. Early in the year, the manufacturer's supply chain had to shut down as COVID-19 terrorized Asia. Whether we will see the 2020 5G iPhones introduced in September and launched shortly thereafter depends on how fast suppliers were able to make up for their downtime.
We should see an iPhone super-cycle driven by 5G say the analysts
Today, analysts from investment firm Wedbush wrote to clients and gave a broad estimate of what they expect the timeline will be for the upcoming iPhone 12 series
. The note, written by Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe, was viewed by AppleInsider
. It calls for a normal September unveiling of the handsets with shipments delayed a month to October. The analysts write that "The supply chain getting back to normalization ahead of expectations has been impressive." They add that this "ultimately puts Cook & Co. back in the drivers seat to launch this 5G cycle in its typical mid-late September timeframe with the smartphones hitting the shelves/website by early October."
Dummy models of the three expected iPhone 12 screen sizes
As for how well the redesigned models will be accepted by consumers, the analysts expect to see an iPhone super-cycle driven by 5G. The note to clients reads, "In particular, we are seeing a continued demand snapback in China during the month of June and early July despite some speed bumps and the stage is setting up for a massive pent up iPhone 12 cycle heading into the Fall in this key region as well as globally." Of the 950 million iPhones in active use worldwide, Ives and Backe say as many as 350 million units are ready to be replaced by a new model. 20% of these upgrades will come from China, according to the note which said, "We believe in China alone between 60 million to 70 million iPhones are in the window of an upgrade opportunity over the next year with Apple going aggressively at all price points (SE, iPhone 12) to cement its installed base despite competitive pressures from domestic players."
Wedbush has raised its target on Apple's shares from $425 to $450 and expects it to become the first U.S. public company valued at $2 trillion. Apple became the first such American firm to hit the trillion-dollar mark
in August 2018. The company made a big leap this morning toward that goal by soaring over $15 per share to hit a new all-time high at $399.82. The analysts say that the services unit alone can be given a huge valuation. Ives and Backe wrote that "The services business we assign a $600 billion to $650 billion valuation range given the [increasing] importance of this key revenue stream." Apple is on track to hit $50 billion in services revenue this year which is a target that Apple has been striving for. This division includes some recurring subscription services like Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, and Apple News+. Other parts of this unit include Apple Pay, iCloud, AppleCare+, and more.
We expect four different iPhone models to be unveiled this year. The 5.4-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max will all be equipped with an AMOLED display and powered by the 5nm A14 Bionic chipset. The standard models will contain 4GB of memory while 6GB will be found on the "Pro" units. Instead of 64GB, the lowest amount of storage offered on a 2020 iPhone 12 model could be 128GB.
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are expected to be equipped with Wide, Ultra-Wide, and Telephoto cameras. These models should also feature a LiDAR time-of-flight depth sensor that will enhance the AI capabilities of the handsets and also improve the bokeh blur on portraits. The standard iPhone 12 units could include everything but the Telephoto camera.