Tech

A new smaller, cheaper iPhone could boost sales in early 2020, top Apple analyst Kuo predicts

Key Points
  • iPhone shipments could be up 10% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2020, according to a new estimate from TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. 
  • Kuo believes the growth will be partially driven by an unannounced new device he calls the iPhone SE, which he believes will be a low-cost iPhone using the iPhone 8 design with an updated processor.
  • Last week, Kuo predicted an iPhone SE2 could launch in the first quarter of 2020.
An attendee takes a photograph of the new Apple Inc. iPhone SE smartphone after an event in Cupertino, California.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apple's iPhone shipments could be up 10% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2020, according to a new estimate from TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo believes the growth will be partially driven by an unannounced new device he calls the iPhone SE, which he believes will be a low-cost iPhone using the iPhone 8 design with an updated processor. Last week, Kuo predicted an iPhone SE2 could launch in the first quarter of 2020.

Kuo believes that demand for the iPhone 11 is strong and Apple is unlikely to tell its suppliers to expect cuts, partially based on two-week wait times for some iPhone 11 models.

The note predicts that Apple could ship 37-40 million of the higher-end iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max phones in the fourth quarter of 2019. However, he predicts Apple could ship 36-40 million of the more inexpensive iPhone 11 models.

Apple doesn't report iPhone unit sales or break down which of its iPhone models sell better than others, but Kuo's estimates suggest that Apple is selling a higher ratio of low-cost iPhones than last year.

"Investors worry Apple will decrease new iPhone shipment forecasts in October as the company used to," Kuo wrote. "But iPhone 11 series' general shipping times are currently more than two weeks, and it implies the likelihood of Apple's order cut is fading away."

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