Look for a Fall iPhone Blowout
With the unveiling of the next-generation iPhone scheduled for the week of Sept. 9, Wall Street analysts are beginning to hazard guesses as to how many of them Apple might conceivably sell. And unsurprisingly, the developing consensus seems to be “lots.”
Case in point: J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz’s latest prediction on Apple’s fall iPhone production ramp-up. Information coming out of Asia’s Apple-related supply chain suggests it is well poised for a big fall push.
According to Moskowitz, Apple can produce 20 million so-called iPhone 5 units in the September quarter, and an additional 39 million in the December quarter. And if that proves to be the case, Apple will meet or beat J.P. Morgan’s total iPhone unit estimates of 39.4 million for the December 2012 quarter and 37.8 million units for the March 2013 quarter.
Those numbers are for all shipping versions of the iPhone, but the forthcoming model will obviously make up the bulk of them. Said Moskowitz, “We estimate that iPhone 5 units could be 50 percent to 60 percent of total iPhone shipments in the first two quarters of volume ramp, scaling up after that.”
One final point worth noting: Moskowitz, too, believes that Apple is preparing to launch a smaller version of the iPad, perhaps before the end of the year. “As for the iPad, there are increasing signs in the supply chain of a new and smaller form factor to be potentially introduced later this year,” he writes. “While we have previously regarded an iPad mini launch as more of a C2013 or later event, we are starting to become more flexible in our view as it relates to a potential C2012 event.”
A plausible theory, though I’ve not heard anything that would confirm it. One thing is certain, though. The tablet market still lacks a true second-place contender, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has said many times now that the company has no plans to leave a price umbrella around the iPad that would allow a rival to shake its dominance by introducing a lower-cost device.