What Investors Should Expect Of The iPhone 12
Apple’s September product refresh event has come and gone, and with it hopes that the iPhone 12 could be unveiled this month. Investors, however, continue to eagerly anticipate news on this front. I believe that Apple’s stock would benefit from the iPhone being announced as soon as possible.
I discussed the importance of a 5G-ready smartphone a few months ago. The graph below helps to illustrate why the “supercycle” could breathe life into a maturing market. Today, I look at what experts and analysts know (or claim to know) about Apple’s upcoming iPhone 12.
What to expect of the iPhone 12
- It is anyone’s guess when the new phone will be announced – consensus suggests October. But no one will know the date for sure until Apple sends out the save-the-date invitation.
- Apple could be the high-end provider of 5G smartphones. At least this is what Raymond James’ analyst Chris Caso seems to believe, citing his channel checks. He says: "current production plans suggest the most favorable mix we've ever seen for an iPhone launch" – which means more of the expensive iPhone models being sold, less of the entry-level ones.
- Speaking of Chris Caso and production insights, he also believes that Apple will launch four new models in the iPhone 12 family, with prices ranging from $699 to $1,099. This seems to be somewhat of a consensus, with two of the models possibly supporting mmWave technology (faster 5G connectivity). MacRumors has a good page on the likely tech specs of each iPhone 12 model, including screen sizes and camera configurations.
- As IDC’s graph above suggests (see dotted lines), 2020 should be the first year of meaningful global sales of 5G smartphones, with the growth pace remaining strong through 2024 at least. Also importantly, average selling prices will see a sharp decline in the current year, as the “novelty effect” wears off. Apple is not known for lowering prices on its new higher-end devices (the opposite, in some cases), so I would expect the price wars to be waged at the low-to-mid tier ranges.
- I believe that the US will be Apple’s 5G battleground. The graph below shows how Huawei and other Chinese manufacturers have already gotten a head start in certain markets around the world, but Apple’s home country is still (barely) dominated by one player: Samsung. Due to supply constraints, I would not be surprised to see the iPhone 12 become available first in the US, so that Apple can finally start competing in the country. Once production reaches full scale, the smartphone would then be rolled out in other regions.
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