Ming-Chi Kuo, a tech analyst with a decent record for accuracy, predicts Apple will sell more iPhones in 2019 than many other analysts are anticipating.
To be clear, Kuo isn’t predicting a banner year for iPhone sales. Just not a terrible one.
The analyst with TF International Securities wrote to investors today:
“Our report published on December 14, 2018, was the first to cut the estimation of 2019 iPhone shipments to 190mn units or less; the current market consensus on 2019 iPhone shipments (160–180mn units) is much lower than our estimation and we believe the share prices of Apple and most iPhone suppliers are generally priced in the negative.
“We maintain our forecast of 188–192mn units for 2019 iPhone shipments. We believe the downside risks of share prices for the Apple and iPhone supply chain are limited in the near term given that 2Q19 iPhone shipments will likely be better than the market consensus.”
iPhone sales by quarter
Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will ship 36 to 38 million iPhone units during the current quarter. That’s a bit below his earlier estimate, a change which he says is a result of “demand for new models in China and emerging markets is lower than expected.”
He’s hardly the first to call out the iPhone’s issues in China. When Apple admitted earlier this month that revenue from all its computers Q4 2018 were below its expectations, it solidly laid the blame on problems in the Chinese economy.
But Kuo sees the situation improving in April-to-June period. He’s predicting shipments coming in 34 million and 37 million, about 10 percent higher than other analysts. That’s still a 14 percent lower than sales in the same quarter of 2018, though.
But the situation will improve further in the second half of this year, to the point where Kuo predicts the company will ship as many handsets as it did in the same period of 2018. The improvement will come from increasing numbers of people trading in older devices for the new 2019 iPhone models.
Kuo specifically said he thinks the worst is over. And he’s not alone: on Thursday, an analyst from Morgan Stanley recommended buying Apple shares now as any bad news is already priced into the stock. In the two days of trading since this suggestion, Apple’s stock price went up over 3 percent.