Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will probably sell 71.5 million iPhone units in the fourth quarter, helped by strong seasonal demand, says a report, which cites a report from prominent KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The report suggests Apple’s iPhone shipments will increase 82% quarter over quarter in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Supply issues still a concern
Apple’s iPhone 6 is the hottest selling phone, and it is estimated to contribute just below 60% of all sales for the quarter, or 41.65 million units. The iPhone 6 Plus, a phone that was hyped up more than the iPhone 6, lags far behind, and it’s the supply has been scant at the retail outlets.
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According to Kuo, the shortage of the iPhone 6 Plus not only indicates the growing demand of the phone but also indicates that suppliers are not able to resolve their production issues. Kuo believes the sales in the fourth quarter primarily depend on supply chain performance with iPhone 6 Plus yields.
However, Kuo believes that the hype around the Apple Inc.’s latest flagship smartphones will cool down sometime in the first quarter of 2015 due to weak off-season demand. Shipments are expected to be around 49.4 million units, including 21.6 million iPhone 6 and 10.2 million iPhone 6 Plus models.
Apple may streamline its offerings
Kuo believes almost all iPhone models will face slow demand except for the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 4S variants, as both are expected to grow 77.3% and 58.2%, respectively. Kuo is estimating that promotional pricing will increase demand for the iPhone 5C, and notes the iPhone 4S is being targeted to emerging markets.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based Company is, however, expected to eventually phase out the iPhone 5C and iPhone 4S models even though sales in the first quarter of 2015 are expected to be high. Kuo cites more streamlined product offerings as one reason for this action.
Kuo expects Apple to upgrade its 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch offerings next year with advanced hardware, which suggests the iPhone 6 will be pushed into the mid-tier while the iPhone 5S goes free on contract. With an update to the iPad line-up, Apple would complete its shift toward a Touch ID-equipped lineup, supporting the company’s Apple Pay initiative.