Seoul, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Beijing, London, Buenos Aires, San Diego
December 23, 2020
Apple is likely to break previous iPhone sales records during its FY first quarter, according to Counterpoint Research’s Global Monthly Sell-Through Tracker, setting up the company for what could be the biggest year ever for the iPhone.
Although Oct-Nov 2020 global sell-through was down YoY, it declined by only low single digits. That is positive considering the four to six-week launch delay of the iPhone 12 versus the iPhone 11. There is now the possibility of a December sales surge, driven by the new iPhone 12, which would bring the quarter’s sell-through number into record territory.
The popularity of the new model is evident when comparing iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 post-launch sales in the US market on a YoY, week-for-week basis.
Jeff Fieldhack, Counterpoint Research’s Director of US Mobile Devices and Carrier Strategies, commented, “The iPhone 12 consistently outperformed its predecessor during the first six weeks from launch – with the exception of week two, when strong early demand and ample supply delivered an exceptional sales week for the iPhone 11.”
He also noted, “Double and triple-digit weekly sales increases for the iPhone 12 over the iPhone 11 – despite 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max shortages – is sending a strong signal, and we believe the iPhone 12 will bolster global quarterly shipment growth for all iPhones to 21% YoY.”
US out-performance bodes well globally, and Counterpoint Research expects record iPhone shipments for the quarter to be driven not only by North America, but also China, Japan, India and Europe.
“What we’re seeing is a combination of things driving iPhone growth globally,” stated Peter Richardson, Global Head of Research. “These include pent up demand for a new 5G iPhone with both operators and consumers hungry for the new iPhone products, attractive prices on the iPhone 12 aided by bountiful promotional offers. iPhone SE sales also helped momentum together with iPhone 11 longevity, and solid Singles Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday performance.”
Acknowledging that Apple faces issues, especially around supply, Mr. Richardson stated the company “is well positioned to mitigate the risks. The iPhone Pro and Pro Max are on backorder in the US, but lead times have dropped significantly over the past three weeks. Power management ICs remain constrained, but Apple is likely a favored customer going to the head of the line. The India Wistron controversy is not material and Apple is managing the situation. And in terms of their output capability globally, it is better than last year on increased hiring, overtime incentives and factories running more hours.”
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in Technology products in the TMT industry. It services major technology firms and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of 13 years in the high-tech industry.