Shortly following the iPhone 7 launch in September 2016, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted fewer iPhone 7 sales than the iPhone 6s garnered in 2015. In a new note issued to clients today, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, the analyst reiterated his belief that iPhone demand has peaked for the year due to a lack of significant improvements.
He is now forecasting a drop in unit shipments in November and December from five to fifteen percent based on supply checks and greater iPhone 7 stock availability.
Orders for the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 are limited because the larger-screened iPhone 7 Plus with dual cameras has seen greater than expected demand. And due to increasingly intensifying competition in China, the analyst warned that Apple may be unable to expand its market share in that important market.
From Kuo’s note to clients:
As the 4.7-inch iPhone 7, which accounts for a higher share of iPhone shipments, is in stock in the main global markets, we believe overall iPhone shipments have peaked.
We think iPhone shipment forecasts will be revised down due to: (1) lower-than-expected demand due to a lack of spec surprises in the 4.7-inch iPhone 7; and (2) shorter times for delivering online orders of 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, which implies slowing demand.
We note that the out-of-stock phenomenon also results from fixed capacity, and is not only due to robust demand.
It’s worthwhile keeping in mind that Kuo’s record for accuracy has suffered over the past year or so. At any rate, he predicted peak iPhone sales two months ago and now he’s banging the same drum. Draw your own conclusions.
Kuo’s now reduced his forecast down to 70-75 million iPhone sales in the final two months of the year versus the consensus estimates ranging from 75-85 million units, which is literally the same figure he offered two months ago.
Kuo’s pessimism was somewhat echoed by Reuters saying this morning that some of the Chinese iPhone owners who cannot afford the iPhone 7, or are unwilling to trade up their existing handset over the perceived lack of improvements on the iPhone 7, are buying aftermarket mods to make their exiting device look like an iPhone 7.
These modifications range from various stickers and engraving services to replacing the outer casing of the iPhone 6/6s with a fake iPhone 7 shell complete with false dual-cameras and even dust plugs to hide the removed headphone jack.