Apple’s 2019 didn’t get off to a promising start. On January 2, Tim Cook penned a letter to investors and confirmed that iPhone sales during the holiday quarter were much lower than Apple initially anticipated. Consequently, Apple lowered its revenue guidance for the quarter by a few billion and, as you might expect, shares of Apple quickly plummeted in the aftermath.
Though Cook said that 100% of Apple’s revenue shortfall could be attributed to poor sales in China, that didn’t stop some pundits from bringing out the old and somewhat tired claim that we’ve finally reached peak iPhone and that Apple has nowhere to go but down at this point.
Truth be told, it seems far too premature to claim that we’ve reached peak iPhone. Not only have we heard rumblings that Apple’s 2019 iPhone lineup will introduce some compelling new camera features, it stands to reason that Apple’s adoption of 5G technology in 2020 will spur an avalanche of upgrades.
In the interim, reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo writes in a new research note (via MacRumors) that Apple’s iPhone sales slowdown may be coming to an end sooner rather than later. Whereas many analysts are anticipating that Apple in 2019 will sell anywhere from 160–180 million iPhone units, Kuo is far more optimistic and claims that iPhone sales for the year could fall somewhere between 188 and 192 million. All that said, year-over-year iPhone sales will certainly take a dip in 2019, but the drop in sales may not be nearly as pronounced as initially thought.
“We maintain our forecast of 188–192mn units for 2019 iPhone shipments,” Kuo’s note reads in part. “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.”
As a point of comparison, the record for annual iPhone sales was set back in 2016 when Apple sold 231 million units thanks to the popularity of the company’s iPhone 6 lineup.
Though Apple is set to post its earnings report for the December quarter this week, you may recall that the company late last year announced that it will no longer release unit sales for its iconic smartphone.