The iPhone 12 is on course to give Apple its best-ever year for iPhone sales, according to Wedbush analysts Strecker Backe and Daniel Ives. In a new note to clients seen by Cult of Mac, they predict Apple could sell between 240 million and 250 million iPhones this year.
That would “easily eclipse” Apple’s previous record, set in fiscal 2015, in which it sold 231 million iPhones. That year’s super-sized lineup — the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus — remain the top-selling models in history. However, it looks like that record could soon fall.
“For the March quarter we believe builds for total iPhones have stayed in the 56 million to 62 million range,” wrote the Wedbush analysts. “For the June quarter we believe builds have stayed basically unchanged and remain in the mid 40 million range. We have not seen a robust launch uptrend such as this in a number of years for Apple and the only iPhone trajectory similar would be the iPhone 6 in 2014 based on our analysis.”
Another iPhone supercycle coming?
They note that, overall, Wall Street is forecasting 220 million iPhones sold this year. That would come in slightly below Apple’s fiscal 2015 performance. But the Wedbush analysts forecast even better performance.
“Importantly, with our estimation that 350 million of 950 million iPhones worldwide are currently in the window of an upgrade opportunity, we believe is translating into an unprecedented supercycle upgrade cycle for Cook & Co,” they write. “Geographically speaking, demand in China looks strong coming out of the Chinese New Year and remains a linchpin to our Apple bull thesis. We also believe ASPs are continuing to trend higher on a positive mix of iPhone Pro versions and Pro Max shipped, which bodes well for the next few quarters with this top-line tailwind.”
This doesn’t look like it’ll be an isolated incident, either. According to the analysts, initial supply chain build orders for iPhone 13 fall in the 100 million unit range. That’s even more than the 80 million they believe the iPhone 12 kicked off with.