Demand for 5G iPhone 12/Pro higher than expected; could best iPhone 11 series

Demand for iPhone 12/Pro higher than expected; could best iPhone 11 series
The first weekend of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro sales is over and the latest info points towards higher than expected demand. 

The 5G iPhone 12 was twice as popular as the iPhone 11

Ming-Chi Kuo of TF Securities has revealed in his latest note to investors (via AppleInsider) that initial demand for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro almost matched total launch weekend sales for the entire iPhone 11 series last year. 

The analyst estimates that Apple sold between 1.7 million and 2 million iPhone 12 units in the first 24 hours, up massively from the 500,000 to 800,000 iPhone 11 units sold in 2019. Over the full weekend and with the iPhone 12 Pro factored in, Apple is estimated to have sold between 7 million and 9 million combined units. 

When you consider the fact Apple only made two iPhones available on Friday, the latest numbers compare well with the iPhone 11 series, which registered 10-12 million combined sales over launch weekend. 

Once the company releases the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max next month, combined first weekend sales should easily exceed those of the iPhone 11 series in 2019. 

Do note, however, that initial demand for the iPhone 12 mini and Pro Max models is unlikely to exceed the demand seen for the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro flagships. 

The iPhone 12 Pro is also more popular than expected 

A breakdown of the launch weekend sales numbers by iPhone 12 model wasn't made available, but Ming-Chi Kuo says the iPhone 12 Pro is the main reason for the higher-than-expected demand.

The premium flagship exceeded predictions because of strong demand in the Chinese market, according to Kuo, and the nearing peak season demand for smartphones in both the US and Europe. A preference for high-end models from 'core Apple fans' played a factor too. 

In light of these trends, Kuo has modified his sales breakdown predictions for the current quarter. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro should now account for 30-35% of sales each, whereas the small iPhone 12 mini and massive iPhone 12 Pro Max are estimated to fill 10-15% and 15-20% of pockets, respectively.

The mini-branded iPhone was previously set to be the second-most popular model, but demand seems to be weak in Apple's most important international market – China – because of the smaller display and lack of dual-SIM support.

Could the iPhone 12 series lead to an upgrade supercycle?

Last week, Taiwanese carriers sold their entire iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-order quote in under 45 minutes. Those carriers now believe the iPhone 12 series could become the most popular iPhone lineup since the iPhone 6 in 2014.

Such a comparison is certainly nothing to brush off. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus led to the most recent ‘iPhone supercycle’ which boosted shipment volumes by 46% and revenue by 57% in the first quarter of sales.

Similar supercycles were previously predicted ahead of the iPhone 8/X and iPhone XS/XR launches in 2017 and 2018 respectively, but the idea of it happening was quickly brushed off following the launch. This is the first time that demand suggests it could be possible.

Backing all of this up is the fact that Ming-Chi Kuo noted in his note to investors that demand for the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max next month could push sales to ‘supercycle’ heights. Of course, there is certainly no guarantee of this happening.

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