Even though we’re still almost a year away from the release of Apple’s next iPhone lineup, details about the 2020 iPhone 12 lineup are already piling up — such as the fact that next year’s lineup looks to be the most expansive one that Apple has offered yet. We noted here that Apple may release as many as six distinct iPhone 12 models in the new year, while on Monday analysts from Wedbush Securities followed that up by raising their price target for Apple’s stock from $325 to $350 per share. Why?
One simple reason: 5G. “We believe iPhone 11 is just the front end of this current ‘supercycle’ for Cupertino with a slate of 5G smartphones set to be unveiled in September that will open up the floodgates on iPhone upgrades across the board that the Street continues to underestimate,” write the Wedbush analysts.
According to Wedbush’s supplier checks, it’s possible we may see “a double-digit increase” for expectations of overall units, or at least a 10% increase year-over-year. In terms of hard numbers, the Wedbush analysts think 200 million units is the “starting point,” and that 350 million iPhones could be in store for an upgrade.
If the presence of 5G in the iPhone 12 lineup does indeed spur a so-called upgrade supercycle, here’s another factor that may help that along: The top Apple insider in the world also predicted in recent days that the impact of 5G won’t actually have much impact on the prices in the iPhone 12 lineup, with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities guessing they actually won’t see much of a price bump.
The 5G-related components might make it anywhere from $30 to $100 more expensive per device to make each new iPhone handset, but Kuo wrote recently he doesn’t think Apple will reflect that in the prices of the 2020 models. Moreover, it’s also worth pointing out that according to Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang, most iPhone 12 models will come in two variants — one with 4G and one with 5G.
Meantime, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives appeared on the CNBC program Squawk Box on Monday to predict that “We’re only halfway there through what I believe is a supercycle.”
He thinks Apple will release at least four 2020 phones that can support 5G. This is all in line with the results of a recent Piper Jaffray survey, which found that of 1,050 current iPhone owners, 23% said they would upgrade to a $1,200 5G iPhone. That’s up from 18% of participants who said the same thing earlier this year.