Investment bank lowers iPhone 12 sales forecast slightly
Chatterjee believes that Apple will ship 230 million iPhones this year, which is slightly lower than his previous estimate of 236 million units. Still, it would be an increase of 13 percent when compared to 2020.
The analysis is based on a downward revision of the investment bank's electronics manufacturing service (EMS) build estimates and channel checks in China which imply that demand in the country might not be as strong as previously thought.
20 percent of iPhone upgrades are expected to come from China this year, per a separate report.
Downward revisions are not unheard of after holiday quarters but the dismal demand for the iPhone 12 mini and a significant cut to iPhone 12 Pro shipments is what caused JP Morgan to take note of weakening demand.
Various sources in the recent past have said that the iPhone 12 mini is performing poorly and Chatterjee thinks that Apple will halt its production in the second quarter of 2021.
The analyst has put it down to weaker consumer spending in China and the stabilization of demand after an initial uptick in iPhone 12 shipments which was seemingly caused by early 5G adopters. He still expects Apple to ship 80 to 90 million units during the first half of 2021.
Overall, the iPhone 12 series appears to be doing spectacularly well. Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe think shipments could go as high as 250 million units this year. This will help the Cupertino giant beat its 2015 record of selling 231 million units.
iPhone 12 helped Apple dethrone Samsung for the first time since 2016 in Q4 2020, according to Gartner.