In a new Medium post, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple has lowered its 2024 iPhone shipments of key upstream semiconductor components to about 200 million units (down 15% year-over-year). He adds (though I’m dubious) that Apple may have the most significant decline among the major global mobile phone brands in 2024.
Here are key points from his report:
° iPhone 15 series and new iPhone 16 series shipments will decline by 10–15% YoY in 1H24 and 2H24, respectively (compared to iPhone 14 series shipments in 1H23 and iPhone 15 series shipments in 2H23, respectively).
° The iPhone faces structural challenges that will lead to a significant decline in shipments in 2024, including the emergence of a new paradigm in high-end mobile phone design and the continued decline in shipments in the Chinese market.
° The new high-end mobile phone design paradigm includes AI (GenAI) and foldable phones. The main reason for the decline in the Chinese market is the return of Huawei and the increasing preference for foldable phones among high-end users as their first choice for phone replacement.
° Benefiting from the higher-than-expected demand due to the high integration of GenAI functions, Samsung has revised up the shipments of the Galaxy S24 series in 2024 by 5–10%, while Apple has revised down the shipment forecast of iPhone 15 in 1H24.
° Apple’s weekly shipments in China have declined by 30–40% YoY in recent weeks, and this downward trend is expected to continue. The main reason for the decline is the return of Huawei and the fact that foldable phones have gradually become the first choice for high-end users in the Chinese market.
° It is expected that Apple will not launch new iPhone models with significant design changes and the more comprehensive/differentiated GenAI ecosystem/applications until 2025 at the earliest. Until then, it will likely harm Apple’s iPhone shipment momentum and ecosystem growth.