The days of massive year-on-year growth in iPhone sales are over for now, at least according to one analyst forecasting Apple’s iPhone 11 orders.
According to analysts at Cowen, Apple’s iPhone 11 orders are roughly in line with those for last year’s iPhone refresh. Cowen thinks that Apple will build 65 million iPhones for Q4, representing “flat” growth. That means the “super-cycle” mass upgrade will likely have to wait until 2020.
For the second half of 2019, Cowen thinks total builds of the new iPhone will come in at 79 million. That’s down 7% from 85 million in the same quarter 2018.
Cowen writes that:
“We believe the lower year-on-year build plan may be intended to better control excess inventories going into 2020, especially given the heightened channel inventory levels experienced post-holiday season for the past two years.”
Cowen thinks that Chinese tariffs represent a “medium term risk” for the iPhone. The analyst also thinks there’s a danger of “Apple product demand destruction in China.” The first tariffs introduced by President Donald Trump on imported Chinese goods kicked into action over the weekend. Unless an agreement is reached, tariffs hitting the iPhone will commence in December. That’s bad news for Apple, which supposedly will swallow the costs.
Flat iPhone orders in 2019
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that iPhone orders may remain relatively flat in 2019. A report in July stated that Apple suppliers were gearing up to produce 75 million iPhone 11 devices this year.
As I noted at the time, that number roughly falls in line with the number Apple produced last year for the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max. Although this may seem a big change from yesteryear, when the iPhone was an unstoppable juggernaut, it’s actually not bad at all. It will make the iPhone one of the world’s top-selling handsets. It also shows that, even at a time when the smartphone market is wobbling, and Apple is facing an uncertain future in China, Apple is holding firm.
Are you excited about this year’s iPhone refresh? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.