Apple is struggling to keep up with demand for the AirPods Pro, says Citi analyst Jim Suva. And it’s “not due to manufacturing issues.”
Speaking with CNBC, Suva noted how there was a “several week delay” for customers to get AirPods over the holiday season. According to Suva, this is due to such strong demand for the products that Apple simply “can’t keep up.”
As a result of the AirPods’ and Apple Watch’s success, Suva thinks wearables are going to mean big numbers for Apple when it reports its fiscal Q1 earnings in early 2020. While he doesn’t give a precise number, he suggests they will prove to be a “big surprise” for investors.
If true, that’s likely to be quite some growth. When Apple reported its last earnings in October, there was a 50% growth in wearables. You’d therefore expect attentive Apple-watchers to be expecting a big bump. That’s especially true since the next earnings will reflect the holidays. That is typically Apple’s best quarter.
AirPods Pro demand and beyond
This is far from the first time we’ve heard about massive demand for the AirPods Pro. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives previously suggested that Apple will sell around 65 million AirPods units in total in 2019. That includes upward of 3 million AirPods units during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping holidays alone. Next year, he believes Apple could sell 85 million to 90 million AirPods.
Meanwhile, Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi claims that Apple sold $6 billion worth of AirPods in 2019. In 2020, he predicts Apple will sell 85 million units. A similar jump in 2021 would makes the AirPods Apple’s third largest business.
Interestingly, in Jim Suva’s CNBC report, he references the Apple Watch Series 3 as Apple’s other wearables MVP. First launched in 2017, this Apple Watch isn’t the latest from Apple. However, its $199 starting price makes it far more accessible to customers.
Overall, Apple stock is up 84% this year. That makes it the best performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Suva has a price target of $300 for AAPL. Currently it is trading at $291.52.