Analyst projects disappointing iPhone 6 sales on opening weekend

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Apple is expected to launch a tsunami of new products this fall, starting with next week’s official unveiling of the iPhone 6. With the rumor mill hitting all-time new heights of crazy, you’d think iPhone 6 sales would be off the charts when it hits stores September 19. But Piper Jaffray’s top Apple analyst, Gene Munster, is predicting that won’t be the case.

Munster hasn’t been one to shy away from bold Apple predictions (no matter how many times he’s wrong), but his latest note to investors claims iPhone 6 sales probably won’t be as nearly as huge as the iPhone 5s during launch weekend.

Here are Munster’s estimates:

iPhone6sales

“In the near term, we caution that there will likely be noise in the opening weekend iPhone 6 sales numbers given difficult comps from last year’s 5C channel fill.”

Apple’s opening-weekend iPhone sales hit 9 million units in 2013, but that number included the iPhone 5c. Apple may have only sold 5.4 million iPhone 5s units according to Munster, who predicts Apple is at risk of announcing a big drop in opening-weekend iPhone sales this year, which couldĀ be a downer for investors.

Munster estimates Apple will sell 6.5 million new iPhone 6 units during launch weekend, which would represent a 28 percent decrease from total iPhone sales last year. The drop in sales numbers would be due to the “channel fill” of more than 3 million iPhone units in 2013 when Apple replaced all iPhone 5 units with the iPhone 5c, boosting total new iPhone sales for the weekend.

Interestingly, Munster has raised his target price on AAPL from $105 to $120, expecting the launch of new products and services will boost the stock’s price.

Other analysts have predicted an unprecedented demand for the iPhone 6 as Apple has order at least 68 million units for 2014 — double what it ordered in 2013. The iPhone 6 is expected to be revealedĀ at a September 9 event and to include a larger display, sapphire glass, faster A8 processor, improved camera and a new mobile payments system supported by NFC.

  • ianthetechman

    I genuinely think people are starting to get a little bored of the iPhone as of late and are looking at the more powerful better screened and more importantly often cheaper smartphones that are running android

    • Scott Landis

      Then why are the major Android manufactures still trying to a premium device to compete with the iPhone?

      • ianthetechman

        That has already been made its called the HTC ONE M8 and it is more powerful capable and has a much better screen and speakers than the iPhone.

    • Cash

      You are clueless.

      • ianthetechman

        And you my friend are very RUDE !!!!!!

    • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

      Thanks for taking your own viewpoint and expanding it to cover “people”. Unless you’ve done exhaustive surveys, you haven’t a clue on what “people” think about iPhones. I’m very happy with my iPhone 4S and I can’t wait to upgrade to the iPhone 6’s larger 4.7″ screen. You see, in my world “people” are very excited about the new iPhone. Anyone “bored” with the iPhone will most likely be “bored” with any other device in short order. The number of uses you can find for the iPhone (and Android and Windows phones) is staggeringly unlimited, if you take the time and dig into them to see what they’re capable of. The “bored” people of this world are looking to be entertained because they have no ability to create their own interests and entertainment. Being “interested” in life means digging below the surface, finding an area of life that fascinates you and running with it.

      • Donald Duvall

        Errrr… you’re equating you iPhone experiences with life?? Sounds to me like you need to get one…. a life, that is. :)

      • ianthetechman

        Donald i totally agree i was simply stating as a manager of a cell phone store that a lot of ‘people’ i speak to are tiring of the iPhone and i get jumped on by some crazy who seems to think for some reason i don’t like the same phone he has so i must be mad.

      • ianthetechman

        Calm down Len you will give yourself an heart attack you do know you are getting very irate about a “Phone”
        I am not an hater of the iPhone in fact i have owned every iPhone released so far but stopped being excited by iPhones after the iPhone 4.
        And you are right maybe my wording was not the best using people……But you ask so i will give an answer, I manage a phone store here in the UK and get a general feeling that a lot of people who we have in store are starting to tire of the device.
        Now think about it before you jump on me i speak to lots of ‘people’ everyday and my conversations are mainly about what consumers are looking to upgrade to.
        Now in recent years although the iPhone is still a fantastic seller it has taken a little downturn mainly because i am told by the consumer they are bored with the same looking operating system.

    • Tallest Skil

      Yeah, no, no one intelligent believes this.

    • JRX

      Well the iPhone IS actually the more powerful device. All you need to do is look at actual benchmarks rather than specs. Anandtech has a great site where they review and benchmark lots of computer hardware. Go there and check out the LG G3 review and you’ll see that the year old iPhone 5S is #1 on 10 out of 17 benchmarks which its in (its not in every benchmark). And its in the top 3 in over half of the benchmarks. That’s a year old iPhone versus the newest and “most powerful” Android phones. All Apple is missing is the larger screen and that’s what people are waiting for. In fact, it’s Samsung that people are getting bored of, just look up the relatively weak Galaxy S5 sales this year. Please do some research on facts and statistics before forming random opinions.

    • Windlasher

      Damn Dude.. I read your comment only because (it was first) I was going to tell you to blow it out of your “hooha”, but then I kept reading to find that others have already done so. So I don’t have to actually type the words “go blow it out of your hooha.” So thats nice.

    • Rob Alfonso

      Im not bored, I owned a 3g,3gs,4, 4s,5 and now a 5s, and I fully plan on buying a 6

    • NitzMan

      I think iPhone users, or users of Apple products in general to have a more refined palette. I’ve tried a couple of the other “premium” phones and I can honestly say that nothing matches the build quality of the iPhone. Also while iOS may lack some of the flexibility of Android, the user experience is far more refined on the iPhone. App quality is far higher. Store curatorship is well thought out. Oh and you can throw those spec sheets out of the Window, because real world performance of the iPhone blows every other phone out of the water. My only wish is for better battery life.

    • flnycus

      Totally agree. I think its come to the stage where the smart phone apart from upgrading screen resolution, batteries, cameras etc isnt a wow factor at all. They essentially all the look the same, a screen on one side and most ppl have a case around it so looks shouldnt matter anyway. I believe an independent wearable tech is the way to go, either do anyway with phones and ppl will use tablets and watches or watches and laptops.

  • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

    I too predict this for two reasons.. The first is because of the price of the units. Secondly maybe folks will hold out if the release of the 4.7 and 5.5 are seperate dates.

    • NitzMan

      When has price ever been an issue? Did prices go up or did people just become poor? I don’t think price is a factor.

    • TBL

      He’s comparing last year when Apple released the 5s and 5c to this year when he predicts just the 6 (4.7) figures. But surely Apple will also release their standard last years model at a reduced price as well (?6c) either just the 5s reduced price or the 5s in a 5c style case (?6c).

      So you need to compare last years 5s/5c with 6/6c total predicted figures. They might actually sell quite a lot of ‘6c’s” to any one who want a 4″ touch ID equipped phone at a lower price than todays 5s.

  • harrydevlin

    Not sure he’s taking into account all the iPhone 5 users that have been delaying upgrading because they wanted a larger screen. This is especially the case in countries where most iPhones that are sold are subsidized by the carrier and you only get a new subsidy every 24 months. The 2012 iPhone 5 had a major feature addition: LTE. The 2013 iPhone 5s/5c was underwhelming at best so few users would pay full price for an upgrade from a 5 to a 5s or 5c. While my personal experience is not proof of anything, I do know many iPhone 5 users that explicitly stated that they were not upgrading until the iPhone 6.

    The iPhone 6 is projected to have multiple major feature additions, 1) larger screen(s), 2) NFC, 3) simultaneous voice and LTE data. Android phones have had these features for years and there is a lot of pent up demand for an iPhone that can match its Android competition.

    I REALLY hope that Apple has fixed the simultaneous voice/date issue for Verizon and Sprint users. Since CDMA does not allow simultaneous voice and data the only way to have it is to have LTE data and CDMA voice. The iPhone 5/5s/5c added LTE but Apple left out a separate antenna so only one radio can be used at a time. Most Android LTE devices allow both radios to be on at the same time. On GSM carriers, data drops down to 3G during voice calls so at least you can still do simultaneous voice and data. Verizon sales associates (and I presume Sprint sales associaltes) will point out the iPhone limitation to customers that are trying to decide between Android and iPhone.

    • Bob Plank

      harrydevlin, I’ve had simultaneous voice & data on my iPhone since at least the 3G. I’m not 100% certain, but I thought I had it on the 1st gen iPhone.

      • lowtolerance

        Not on Verizon or Sprint, you didn’t. Verizon didn’t even get the iPhone until iPhone 4, and Sprint until the 4S. CDMA works differently from GSM.

      • http://www.feastofbeast.com DJBabyBuster

        Good thing terribad Verizon isn’t the only provider. Has worked fine on AT&T as long as I’ve had an iPhone.

      • Bob Plank

        No, not on Verizon or Sprint. I am on AT&T. I wouldn’t blame Apple for the fact that second tier phone systems can’t handle voice and data simultaneously.

        The new setup doesn’t change the fact that they can’t handle voice and data simultaneously. They just treat the voice as data and send it as data. The traditional voice link is just ignored in this setup.

    • JoeyP

      I’ve been in the exact same boat as you for a while. I never upgrade to minor refreshes like the 4S or 5S. Waste of an upgrade in my opinion. I think there is going to be incredible demand for the 6 and record launch figures.

      • http://www.feastofbeast.com DJBabyBuster

        Ditto & well spoken. I always wonder why anyone would pay full price to upgrade to S releases. If you’re upgrading every other S with your contract, that works, but I’d be awfully frustrated when they have the full grade update releases :)

    • http://www.feastofbeast.com DJBabyBuster

      Simultaneous data & voice usage is not an iPhone problem, but a Verizon problem with the network, originating because of CDMA use instead of GSM. All us lucky AT&T users have had this feature since the early days. I know it at least worked on my 3GS.

  • RVTravelerNTechie

    Uh, how exactly is 4m -> 5m -> 5.4m -> 6.5m a “big drop”? Your own chart shows it as a 20% increase. How on earth is this “disappointing”? If you really need to write an Apple Doom article, please at least act like politicians and fudge the numbers so they support your apparent (i.e., headline) conclusion. Sheesh…

    • JoeyP

      They’re saying it’s a drop from the combined 9m units, but a 20% increase over the launch of the 5S.

      • JRX

        Oh I see, so its a drop when you compare a single iPhone 6 against total combined sales of the iPhone 5S AND the iPhone 5C…. pretty stupid comparison. I don’t know how these “analysts” keep their jobs, they are wrong so often.

    • Adrayven

      Because he believes that the sales numbers of the 4/4s etc didn’t include the older phones, but the 5c/5s are ‘counted’ even though the 5c is basically a repackaged old iPhone 5.

      As far as I know, Apple never broke them out so I don’t expect the drop.

  • http://comentariosdomundoapple.wordpress.com Krikaoli

    Gene Munster is always wrong, I can’t believe he is still an analyst… It is so obvious Apple will sell all iPhone 6 stocks and very soon it will be very commodity. The number of sells will depend just on how much it has to sell.

  • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

    According to Gene Munster, Apple is doomed yet again with the impending launch of the iPhone 6. He has no shame or repentance for all his completely wrong predictions of Apple’s doom in the past, and continues to push his agenda hoping some day he will be proved correct. Find out who is paying him to write these articles and the motive will become clear. I find it amazing that so many pundits for so many years have been predicting Apple’s demise, only to see it become the world’s most valuable company, with a bank account larger that the treasury reserves of several countries, and a popularity that staggers the imagination. It must be galling to be so utterly wrong for such a long time.

    • JRX

      He’s on Samsung’s payroll…

  • http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/300/320/324/324.2/hizballah/ Sons of Ares

    I guess next week’s press event is Apple’s dying gasp.

  • MWinNYC

    I think 6 sales will be affected by a potential rise in cost of the device, as it is predicted. If the phone goes up in orice by $100 as is predicted, then sales will probably decline. I, for one, have updated my phone every year, but I’m on the fence this year. I will likely not upgrade if the price goes up, as I’m not due for an upgrade via Verizon. In the past I would have paid out of pocket to upgrade like MANY Apple idiots, but probably not this year.

    • cleesmith

      I think the $100 price increase relates to the 5.5 inch version.

    • JRX

      Buying out of pocket doesn’t make you an idiot since the resale value of iPhones is always staying pretty high. As long as you keep the phone mint, if you pay $700, in a year you’ll still get $500 for it, no problem. So that’s a loss of $200, which is what a subsidized purchase would have cost you anyway.

      • MWinNYC

        JRX, thanks for the info. Where do you sell yours for $500? I’ve always kept mine in MINT condition, and I have always sold to Gazelle, but never got more than $250 or so. This year they are offering $325 for a mint 32GB 5S.

    • PMB01

      The price will be the same. All these analysts make these dumb predictions because it’s the nature of their job. If they don’t say something, regardless of how stupid it makes them sound, they’ll lose their job or pay.

      • MWinNYC

        I hope the price is the same, but we’ll see. Nothing ever lasts forever. Larger size, larger battery, NFC chip, sapphire screen- all of these things add up to increased production costs, and Apple is NOT known for sacrificing their bottom
        line/profit margin. But, if they want to stay competitive, maybe they will ?????

  • Tallest Skil

    Can we please have this guy fired?

  • Jeff

    So one interesting twist is the expected dual form factor: 4.7 and 5.5″. The question is how many people will wait until they can feel the phone to decide which size to get. Will that group be large enough to affect opening week sales figures?

  • Mykeljon

    Munster is ALWAYS WRONG! One thing I have yet to understand is why he still has a job and why people publish his opinions. The incredible frenzy of interest that has been building for months is a clear indication that the new iPhone will be highly successful. Every publication that writes about cell phones has been publishing rumours about the new iPhone for months. That is a clear indication that people are absolutely not “a little bored” with the iPhone.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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