Kuo sees strong sales of Apple devices except for one
Earlier this month, on November 13th to be precise, Apple released the iPhone 12 Mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. So now all four iPhone 12 models have been launched including the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Those two models were pushed out in October. All four models support 5G and TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a new report, told clients this morning that Apple is seeing stronger than expected demand during the current calendar fourth quarter for the iPhone 12 Pro line. Also seeing strong demand is the fourth-generation iPad Air, the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE and the M1 powered MacBook models. And with the holiday shopping season upon us, this is a good sign for Apple.
Momentum from 5G to sustain iPhone sales throughout 2021
According to AppleInsider, Kuo sees strong momentum continuing up to the first half of next year. And this is about more than just the iPhone. The iPad had a strong fiscal 2020 partially thanks to the pandemic as the iPad helped those working from home get down to business. Students learning from home counted on their iPad for distant learning. Both businessmen and students used their iPad during down time to stream content, play games, and keep in touch with friends and family. The recently released iPad Air (2020) has a new location for Touch ID (under the power button) allowing for the use of thinner bezels without needing Face ID. And next year we will see some new iPads with mini-LED backlighting and even some models with 5G support. Next year's Apple Watch Series 7 is expected to feature more health functions and possibly a revised design.
The first 5G iPhone models will continue to have strong demand throughout 2021
Kuo expects more Apple Silicon powered Macs in the second half of next year with a 14-inch MacBook Pro and a 16-incher both powered by the ARM-supported 5nm M1 chipset that sports a mind-numbing 16 billion transistors. That compares to the 11.8 billion transistors inside the A14 Bionic. If there is one Apple product that could see a drop in growth next year, the analyst says that it will be the wireless Bluetooth AirPods. Kuo sees shipments for the first half of 2021somewhere between flat and a 5% to 10% decline year-over-year. Kuo said that the market got ahead of itself expecting stronger AirPods sales after Apple 86'd the free EarPods from inside the iPhone 12 series boxes. Kuo expects the next generation of AirPods to appear in the late second quarter of the year.
Returning to the iPhone 12 line, brokerage firm Cowen says that Apple is about to have a bang-up holiday quarter with 79 million iPhone units produced, up 13% from the 76 million units made during the same quarter last year. Analyst Krish Sankar, whose report was seen by AppleInsider, expects first quarter 2021 iPhone builds to hit 47 million units, up 27% year-over-year. The analyst says that the momentum from 5G will continue to last throughout the entire year.
The same report says that the four new iPhone 12 models represent 82% of the iPhone sales mix for the current quarter. That is up from the 72% of the iPhone sales mix that the latest iPhone models had during the fourth quarter in the previous two iPhone handset cycles. Meanwhile, data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology revealed that in October shipments improved on a sequential basis. This seems to be a no brainer because of the way that Apple released two if its iPhone 12 series models in October with the remaining two launched the following month.