It will be a sub-200 million iPhone year for Apple, at least in the eyes of many market watchers. Despite the company’s new policy of not reporting unit sales numbers, Tim Cook basically confirmed that its expectations for the holiday season were trounced by reality, some $7 billion worse off.
But one veteran analyst, TF International’s Ming-chi Kuo, believes that most of the market is overcorrecting.
From a note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo believes that right after he issued his guidance with a median of 190 million iPhone shipments for calendar 2019, the consensus went further south.
Our report published on December 14, 2018, was the first to cut the estimation of 2019 iPhone shipments to 190mn units or less; the current market consensus on 2019 iPhone shipments (160–180mn units) is much lower than our estimation and we believe the share prices of Apple and most iPhone suppliers are generally priced in the negative.
While the investor has cut his prior first quarter forecast of 38 to 42 million unit shipments down to 36 to 38 million, he has put out a second quarter outlook of 34 to 37 million shipments. Both would be big drops on last year’s real performance, but is still above high street guidance. Support will come from a wave of upgrades and trade-ins and a favorable European competitive picture.
We infer that Kuo expects a major swing in the back half of the year with summer deals taking effect and a super-appealing scenario that the iPhone XI will make way for. The median 190 million shipment forecast remains in place.