Apple on track for another 51+ million iPhone sales this quarter, research says

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2015
Demand for Apple's iPhone continues to stay extremely strong, even as the life cycle of the current iPhone 6 series begins to wind down heading into the fall, new data from UBS reveals.




The latest results from the UBS Evidence Lab iPhone Monitor shows consumer demand for the iPhone at 51.1 million units for the June quarter. The estimates were revealed in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider.

Whether or not Apple will actually manufacture that many units to meet demand is unknown, but the new data did compel analyst Steven Milunovich to raise his sales estimate for June quarter from 43 million iPhones to 48 million units.
If Apple can break the 50 million iPhone sales barrier again in the June quarter, it will mark three straight quarters achieving that milestone.
UBS's research found continued strength for the iPhone in China, where Apple has seen considerable growth. By tracking search queries, the data shows 23 percent year over year growth for Apple's handset globally, while China has seen a 100 percent increase from the same period last year.

To put the projections in perspective, in the same June quarter a year ago, Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones, a number that at the time was seen as something of a disappointment on Wall Street. That represented a 12.7 percent increase from the 31.2 million the company shipped in the June 2013 quarter.

Apple has only topped 50 million iPhone sales in a single quarter three times: First in the fall of 2013, again a year later, and then again in the following quarter which concluded in April.

If Apple were to exceed 50 million iPhone sales in the current June quarter, it would keep alive a streak of three straight quarters with sales above that mark.

UBS's Evidence Lab iPhone Monitor uses search results from over 20 countries, weighted by respective country data from Gartner Market Statistics, to create a Google global search value. Further adjustments are made for quarterly variances and seasonal effects, built on a sample period ranging from 2008 to 2012.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member

    What new non-incremental improvements could be added to the iPhone that would allow Apple to once again leap a generation ahead of their knockoff competitors? I don't really know, but if Apple spends billions to improve the phone, their competitors would also have to make such a burdensome investment.

  • Reply 2 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,183member
    What new non-incremental improvements could be added to the iPhone that would allow Apple to once again leap a generation ahead of their knockoff competitors? I don't really know, but if Apple spends billions to improve the phone, their competitors would also have to make such a burdensome investment.
    This would be an interesting use of TouchID and perhaps be one of these incremental improvements that nonetheless attract buyers.
    http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/14/apple-explores-how-touch-id-input-could-be-used-for-ui-navigation/
  • Reply 3 of 30
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Let me guess, Apple will have another blockbuster quarter with strong guidance and the stock will drop 2% the next day. And the usual suspects who can't use guidance as their explanation will claim it's because all good news is already priced into the stock. And the Gene Munsters of the world will go on CNBC fretting about the difficult comps for next year.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    rogifan wrote: »
    Let me guess, Apple will have another blockbuster quarter with strong guidance and the stock will drop 2% the next day. And the usual suspects who can't use guidance as their explanation will claim it's because all good news is already priced into the stock. And the Gene Munsters of the world will go on CNBC fretting about the difficult comps for next year.

    I see what you're saying, but Apple is valued by Wall Street. It's by far the highest valued company in the system. I think many investors will dump on earnings day whether good or bad news, if it's good then they dump it because they want out at the top.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,870member
    It would be amazing if Apple sold another 50 MM this quarter. If it does, analysts would decry no more growth to be had!
  • Reply 6 of 30
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

    What new non-incremental improvements could be added to the iPhone that would allow Apple to once again leap a generation ahead of their knockoff competitors? I don't really know, but if Apple spends billions to improve the phone, their competitors would also have to make such a burdensome investment.


    "Double the battery life, just as thin!" <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

     

    Seriously, if they could get the new aluminum batteries working it'd be a quantum leap ahead. Add that, ForceTouch, an improved camera, and a beastly A9, and tie it in with Apple's award winning design, and, well, sales records were made to be broken, right?

  • Reply 7 of 30

    I think we are getting to diminishing marginal returns of improving an already perfect device.  I wish they offer the choice of road warrior versions of their phones/laptops that would not require any new tech, just a bigger battery and more memory at the expense of being thicker.



    Whats more likely is the apple platform to continue to diversify in product categories while others continue to tailor products to cater to apple users.

  • Reply 8 of 30
    I like UBS's model as they do not try to directly correlate search queries to units sold (ie., x queries = y unit sales). Rather, UBS applies the percent change (YoY) in search queries to year ago sales. I like this because search queries only indicate interest, which is indirectly related to buying intent. Using the change in search queries (interest) automatically filters high, medium, low Buying intent, when it is compared to prior year search queries (interest).
  • Reply 9 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,383member
    "Double the battery life, just as thin!" :lol:

    Seriously, if they could get the new aluminum batteries working it'd be a quantum leap ahead. Add that, ForceTouch, an improved camera, and a beastly A9, and tie it in with Apple's award winning design, and, well, sales records were made to be broken, right?

    That all sounds good to me.

    I think you are right to suspect some major leap in batteries is coming sooner than later from Apple. The fast charging Aluminum tech seems very promising. Aluminum is certainly an amazing element and abundant too.

    As you say, we also have major camera lens technology changes due from Apple soon.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,397moderator

    This year a 6S/6S+ with enhanced internals and perhaps a new color and some camera extras.  Apple rides the wave of upgrades for another year driven by the insatiable demand for larger display iPhones.

     

    Next year a 7/7+ with zero side bezels (use software to ignore touches near the side edges of the display), higher PPI displays, new camera tech to get near-DSLR quality and perhaps hardware zoom capability, plus battery advances.  Toss in a continuously evolving ecosystem that makes the iPhone the hub of a growing internet of things ecosphere, plus the Watch becoming mainstream, and that buys Apple two more years of strong iPhone sales before... DOOM!  

  • Reply 11 of 30
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ClementineOrange View Post

     

    I think we are getting to diminishing marginal returns of improving an already perfect device.  I wish they offer the choice of road warrior versions of their phones/laptops that would not require any new tech, just a bigger battery and more memory at the expense of being thicker.



    Whats more likely is the apple platform to continue to diversify in product categories while others continue to tailor products to cater to apple users.


    To an extent they might feel road warriors already have options that won't up the cost of the basic device? Not more memory, that they have to provide, but external power sources from batty cases to external packs and such? Heck for the totally tech'd out there's always Brunton's Hydrogen Fuel cell powered rechargers! (Which, btw, I'm eying for my summer's two week backpack as lighter and more reliable than a solar panel....).

  • Reply 12 of 30
    michael scripmichael scrip Posts: 1,915member
    I wish they offer the choice of road warrior versions of their phones/laptops that would not require any new tech, just a bigger battery and more memory at the expense of being thicker.

    Yes... a MAXX version of iPhones and Macbooks!

    The problem with Mophie-style cases is that while they double the battery life... they more than double the thickness because it's not an integrated solution.

    The iPhone 6 is 7mm thick.

    Its compatible Mophie case is 17mm thick. :wow:

    But if Apple designed a bigger battery themselves... the whole device might only be 10mm because it would be built-in. I'd allow it!

    I feel the same way about the new Macbook. They made it thinner than the Air... but I don't ever remember anyone saying the Air was "too thick"

    If they designed the new Macbook with its tiny motherboard... but made it the same thickness as the old Air... it could have 18 hours of battery life.

    Of course weight would be an issue with all of this... but let's look at the current solutions. The iPhone 6 is 4.5 ounces... and its Mophie case adds an additional 4 ounces. But again... if Apple built the bigger battery themselves... it wouldn't be nearly as heavy.

    So yeah... I'm on the side of slightly thicker devices for insane battery life... versus thinner and only moderately acceptable battery life.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

     

    This year a 6S/6S+ with enhanced internals and perhaps a new color and some camera extras.  Apple rides the wave of upgrades for another year driven by the insatiable demand for larger display iPhones.

     

    Next year a 7/7+ with zero side bezels (use software to ignore touches near the side edges of the display), higher PPI displays, new camera tech to get near-DSLR quality and perhaps hardware zoom capability, plus battery advances.  Toss in a continuously evolving ecosystem that makes the iPhone the hub of a growing internet of things ecosphere, plus the Watch becoming mainstream, and that buys Apple two more years of strong iPhone sales before... DOOM!  




    Being their own hard act to follow has a certain reality to it....

  • Reply 14 of 30
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,034member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

     

    This year a 6S/6S+ with enhanced internals and perhaps a new color and some camera extras.  Apple rides the wave of upgrades for another year driven by the insatiable demand for larger display iPhones.

     

    Next year a 7/7+ with zero side bezels (use software to ignore touches near the side edges of the display), higher PPI displays, new camera tech to get near-DSLR quality and perhaps hardware zoom capability, plus battery advances.  Toss in a continuously evolving ecosystem that makes the iPhone the hub of a growing internet of things ecosphere, plus the Watch becoming mainstream, and that buys Apple two more years of strong iPhone sales before... DOOM!  


    Zero side bezel? Apple will never do that. Why? structure rigid issue. Beside, zero bezel is a gimmick. It's for the look and serves no benefit.

    Higher PPI? 1080P/401ppi on current 6+ is not enough? Human eye cannot distinguish pixels beyond retina which is around 300 ppi for normal usage distant. It serves no real benefit but the additional battery drain.

  • Reply 15 of 30
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,468member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post



    It would be amazing if Apple sold another 50 MM this quarter. If it does, analysts would decry no more growth to be had!

     

    As long as there are still people clinging to their Android phones, there is growth potential for Apple...

  • Reply 16 of 30
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

     

     

    As long as there are still people clinging to their Android phones, there is growth potential for Apple...




    It would be an uncharacteristic move, but Apple always has the option at some point in the future of going ahead and making an inexpensive model iPhone to completely gut and destroy the Android market. Unlikely, I know, but not impossible.

  • Reply 17 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Let me guess, Apple will have another blockbuster quarter with strong guidance and the stock will drop 2% the next day. And the usual suspects who can't use guidance as their explanation will claim it's because all good news is already priced into the stock. And the Gene Munsters of the world will go on CNBC fretting about the difficult comps for next year.



    This quarter's Guidance was the first indication from Apple on how they expect the Apple Watch to perform.

     

    WS's models for Mac, iPhone, iPad unit sales, plus Software/Services and Accessories is pretty well defined.  Deleting Revenue generated by those product categories from Guidance leaves Apple's forecast for Apple Watch revenue.

     

    With nothing concrete (aka history) to base their Apple Watch forecasts on, WS consensus proved to be (when compared to Apple's implied Apple Watch forecast) overly optimistic.

     

    In defense of Apple's Guidance, at this stage there is no clear use case for the Apple Watch extending beyond early adopter interest.  Like the iPhone before it, sales of the Apple Watch will not exhibit market strength (legs) until its second year, yet WS was forecasting unit sales that exceeded Apple's most successful launch product, the iPad.

     

    I fully expect, with investor Apple Watch expectations appropriately adjusted, that WS's reaction to July Earnings Report and September quarter Guidance will be much more enthusiastic.

     

    There is/was no conspiracy to drive AAPL down.  It was just the market's reaction to reality vs irrational exuberance expectations.

  • Reply 18 of 30
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,397moderator

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

     

    This year a 6S/6S+ with enhanced internals and perhaps a new color and some camera extras.  Apple rides the wave of upgrades for another year driven by the insatiable demand for larger display iPhones.

     

    Next year a 7/7+ with zero side bezels (use software to ignore touches near the side edges of the display), higher PPI displays, new camera tech to get near-DSLR quality and perhaps hardware zoom capability, plus battery advances.  Toss in a continuously evolving ecosystem that makes the iPhone the hub of a growing internet of things ecosphere, plus the Watch becoming mainstream, and that buys Apple two more years of strong iPhone sales before... DOOM!  

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jfc1138 View Post

     



    Being their own hard act to follow has a certain reality to it....


     

    But as another poster indicated, it also sets the bar for the copycat competition.  And Apple has been both setting a high bar and also innovating in areas where its becoming more and more difficult for the copycats to follow.  It's one thing to create  57 page document comparing your software interface to Apple's with specific changes for your software engineers to implement in order to match Apple's innovations (as Samsung was found to have done - see 2012 patent lawsuit), it's another altogether to duplicate a 64-bit processor that doesn't run hot and require 4GB of RAM to run efficiently, or to create an equal to TouchID, or the Apple Pay initiative, or HealthKit and HomeKit, etc.  Apple is pulling ahead and is making it their race to lose or win.

  • Reply 19 of 30
    michael scripmichael scrip Posts: 1,915member
    It would be an uncharacteristic move, but Apple always has the option at some point in the future of going ahead and making an inexpensive model iPhone to completely gut and destroy the Android market. Unlikely, I know, but not impossible.

    Let's not forget that many (most?) Android phones sold around the world are of the $50 or $100 variety.

    Those kinds of markets have never been Apple's focus... and I don't think they need to be destroyed.

    Apple's entry level laptops are $900... while their competitors have laptops for $200. Clearly Apple isn't worried about that.

    So I don't see why Apple should be worried about the inexpensive phone market either.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    Force Touch, 2 GB RAM , A9, and better camera will be all that is needed to produce record breaking (again) sales.
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