Why IDC Expects Apple’s iPhone Unit Shipments to Rise in 2018



Shipments estimated to rise 1.5% year-over-year in 2017

According to market research firm IDC, Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone unit shipments will rise 1.5% YoY (year-over-year) in calendar 2017 compared to a fall of 7% YoY in calendar 2016. The research firm further expects shipments to increase 9.1% YoY in calendar 2018, driven by the launch of the iPhone 8. When Apple launched the iPhone 6, shipments rose 37% YoY, whereas revenue for that business segment rose 52% YoY as well, driven by an increase in ASP (average selling prices).

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Analysts don’t expect a “supercycle” as huge as the one we saw during the iPhone 6 launch. However, the new iPhones might attract buyers, as several customers didn’t upgrade their iPhones during the launch of the iPhone 7. An iPhone “supercycle” is the increase in demand for iPhones after a decline in full-year revenues—as we saw in fiscal 2016. This trend suggests that IDC’s 9% growth figure might be conservative.

New features, coupled with an aesthetic look and face recognition technology, might be seen as key drivers for iPhone demand over the next year or so.

Apple shipments might reach 249.3 million units in 2021

As you can see above, Apple’s iPhone shipments are expected to rise at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 3.5% between 2016 and 2021, which suggests iPhone shipments of 249.3 million in 2021—up from estimated shipments of 218.7 million units in 2017. Apple is estimated to account for 14.4% of the total smartphone market while Android (GOOG)(GOOGL) will continue to lead this market with a share of 85.5% in 2021.


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