iPhone 12 5G to outperform iPhone 11 despite delay: Report

Apple iPhone 12 family sell-in is expected to be larger than the iPhone 11 last year despite launching a month later as there is significant pent-up demand from iOS subscribers putting off upgrades until these 5G devices launch, a new report said on Tuesday.

The Counterpoint Research ‘Market Outlook’ predicted that Apple’s October-December 2020 line-up sales will exceed the iPhone 11 family’s September-December sales by 1 per cent.

This growth is despite a delayed launch in 2020 where Apple’s new line-up will see zero sales in September and also miss much of October sales.

Apple is set to announce its new line-up of iPhones on Tuesday and this will mark a significant moment in the rollout of 5G and will be an opportunity for Apple to have a large upgrade cycle.

In a virtual ‘Hi, Speed’ event, the Cupertino-based tech giant is is expected to release four models of the iPhone 12 — the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini, the 6.1-inch iPhone 12, the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max.

“The options for display sizes and price points will help drive sales. Also benefitting Apple this smartphone refresh will be greater efforts by global mobile operators to upgrade the iOS installed base to 5G,” said Counterpoint Research Director Jeff Fieldhack.

In countries where 5G has begun to roll out, operators will have significant monetary incentive to migrate LTE iOS subscribers to their near-empty 5G networks.

“Look for significant promotional offers, especially in 5G rollout countries. The US is likely to see its most competitive marketing wars in years, which will benefit Apple. European carriers will also see elevated levels of marketing. But China is not expected to be as aggressive,” he explained.

Apple has done a great job outperforming the global smartphone market.

During the Covid-19 low point in Q2 2020, Apple was helped by the timely launch of the iPhone SE, which created a new, low price point for iPhones at $399.

“It helped Apple get through the worst months of Covid-19 and its lockdown periods. In addition, the iPhone 11 has proved to have great longevity, still selling over one million devices per week on the brink of a refresh,” said Research Director Tom Kang.

The SE and iPhone 11 helped maintain momentum through Q3 as the general market remained negative.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 11 family launches saw large upgrades.

The iPhone 8 family and XR family saw lower upgrade levels as holding periods grew through these launch cycles, Counterpoint said.