Apple expected to set a major new iPhone sales record next year

Apple expected to set a major new iPhone sales record next year
Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote a note to investors that was given the once over by AppleInsider. Ives said that based on orders that Apple has given to its supply chain, the current uptrend for iPhone 12 shipments is even more bullish than Wedbush's previous positive outlook. According to Ives, Apple hasn't had a "launch uptrend such as this in a number of years." The closest has been the launch of the iPhone 6 in 2014.

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In a note to investors, Ives said that "The last few days our TMT team conducted our Asia supply chain checks for iPhones which were incrementally bullish around iPhone 12 5G demand and have now exceeded even our 'bull case scenario' for units in FY21 given the current trajectory." Based on supply chain updates, up to 95 million iPhones will be assembled during the fourth quarter of 2020. That would be a 35% hike compared to initial forecasts from Wedbush and Wall Street. As a result, Apple could end up shipping more than 240 million iPhone units, perhaps more than 250 million, next year. The jaw dropping total would easily top the previous number of peak iPhone shipments of 231 million units that was set in 2015.

Apple itself came to the realization that iPhone sales had peaked in 2015 and decided that the time had come to focus on offering recurring subscription services to the nearly one billion active iPhone users. This would make life much easier for Apple. The company wouldn't have to sell the iPhone to users, only entice them with services subscriptions. So Apple set a task for itself to double Services revenue from $25 billion to $50 billion over the five years ended in fiscal 2020. Sure enough, Apple did reach the $50 billion mark for Services revenue in fiscal 2020 thanks to several new offerings.

Ives says that Wedbush is calling for the iPhone 12 super cycle to continue next year with the 2021 iPhones featuring twice the current storage capacity. He also expects to see all of next year's iPhone models sport the LiDAR sensor. This year, the LiDAR sensor can be found on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max models. Ives also points out that out of 950 million active iPhone units still in use, 350 million are in what he calls "the upgrade window." This should lead to what the analyst calls an "unprecedented upgrade cycle" for Apple.
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