The iPhone upgrade “supercycle” is expected to continue through 2022.
According to new analysis from investment firm Wedbush (via Apple Insider), the iPhone upgrade “supercycle” of the iPhone 12 may continue straight into the iPhone 13 lineup.
“Initial reads on iPhone 13 shows the iPhone supercycle party continues,” reads the investor note. “We have gotten our first reads for iPhone 13 builds with this next iPhone launch coming out of Cupertino in the September timeframe. Initial Asia supply chain builds for iPhone 13 are currently in the ~100 million unit range compared to our initial iPhone 12 reads at 80 million units (pre-COVID) and represents a 25% increase YoY out of the gates.”
The analysts acknowledge that these numbers “will clearly move around over the coming months.” However, they claim that this “speaks to an increased confidence” on Apple’s part about how its 5G iPhone product cycle means big things for iPhone sales.
In particular, the Wedbush analysts believe that the iPhone boom could extend for another year, and “well into 2022” as a result of the post-COVID vaccine environment.
The analysts point out that instead of making huge changes in its production schedule, Apple has decided on “tweaks to near-term builds.” For the fiscal quarter that begins next month, the analysts expect Apple to build between 56 and 62 million handsets. For the June quarter, the analysts forecast iPhone production in the mid 40 million range.
The consensus on Wall Street is that Apple will produce 220 million iPhone units for 2021. But the Wedbush investor note also talked about “robust strength” of demand, and mentioned that Apple might churn out “north of 240 million units,” or possibly an “eye-popping” 250 million.