Apple could finally get its iPhone super-cycle this year

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iPhone X home screen
2017 is on track to be a great year for Apple.
Photo: Apple

Apple could sell a massive 350 million iPhones in the next 12 to 18 months, GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives writes in a new note to clients.

Despite a record March quarter, Ives claims that fans have nonetheless been reluctant to buy the most recent iPhone models, resulting in a possible wave of would-be upgraders waiting for the 2018-era-iPhones.

Essentially, the gist of his argument is that last year’s predicted “supercycle” of upgraders didn’t happen due to the high price point of the iPhone X, and the similarity of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus to previous generations of iPhone. As a result, while Apple definitely overperformed in terms of many analysts’ predictions, some customers were put off upgrading.

“We believe the Street is now starting to fully appreciate the massive iPhone upgrade opportunity on the horizon,” Ives said.

In addition to U.S. customers, Ives thinks that the next-gen iPhones could trigger a “renaissance of growth” for Apple’s prospects in China. Of the 100 million iPhone customers in China, around 60-70 million are due for an upgrade in the next 18 months, he notes.

Does the argument make sense?

After analysts erroneously predicted that the iPhone X was a flop, it’s going to be a while before they gain back the trust of users. Still, Ives’ argument does make sense. This year, Apple is rumored to be releasing three new iPhones, all featuring its iPhone X OLED displays, but at a lower price point.

While iPhone sales rose over the last year, the 217 million iPhones sold in the last year was only a 1 percent increase from one year previous. If Apple can persuade more of its customers to upgrade — by offering its newer iPhone X tech at a lower price point — this could turn out to be an amazing year for the company.

Add in the booming Services division, and 2018 could certainly be the year in which Apple finally passes the $1 trillion valuation.

Source: Business Insider