Apple may break its all-time sales record for the iPhone this year

Iphone 12 Lineup
(Image: © Apple)

iMore Verdict

The iPhone 12 Pro is easily one of the best phones of 2020, but it may not be enough of an improvement over the iPhone 12 to justify its additional $170 price tag.


  • +

    Superb performance

  • +

    Consistently good photo and video quality

  • +

    Improved industrial design


  • -

    Worse battery life than iPhone 11 Pro

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What you need to know

  • Demand for the iPhone 12 lineup is remaining steady according to Wedbush.
  • Apple could sell 250 million iPhones this year which would break the previous record of 231 million.

Demand for the iPhone 12 is something that analysts have not seen in almost a decade.

As reported by AppleInsider, a new research note from Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe says that Apple has not yet made cuts to its build orders for the iPhone 12 lineup over the last three weeks. The analysts believe this is due to the popularity of the phone, a demand that has not existed since the iPhone 6 back in 2014.

For the March quarter, build orders for iPhones are said to remain in the range of 56 million to 62 million units. Builds for the June quarter are reckoned to be "basically unchanged" and remain in the mid-40 million range."We have not seen a robust launch upward trend such as this in a number of years for Apple," write analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe. The analysts believe the only iPhone trajectory comparable to the iPhone 12 would be 2014's iPhone 6 launch.The strong sales have prompted Wall Street to forecast 220 million iPhone units for the full year of 2021, according to Wedbush's analysis. Wedbush's own take on the matter is that Apple could still sell north of 240 million units, and possibly even reach 250 million.

The most iPhones Apple has ever sold in a year was 231 million units in 2015, so this year could break that record. The company is also experiencing a higher average selling price for the iPhone this year, with a "higher on a positive mix" for the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

In order to break that record, the company appears to be prepping for more units of the iPhone 13 at launch, an indication that Apple is expecting even more customers to jump on the 5G train once its newest phone launches in the fall.

Apple is said to be planning higher build orders for the "iPhone 13" at around 100 million units, versus initial predictions of 80 million iPhone 12 units before the onset of COVID-19."While this number will clearly move around over the coming months, we believe this speaks to an increased confidence with Cook & Co. that this 5G driven product cycle will extend well into 2022," the note states. A "post-vaccine consumer reopening environment" may also be beneficial to sales.

If you're trying to figure out what iPhone 12 is best for you, check out our list of the Best iPhone in 2021.

Earlier reports from today brought even more iPhone 13 news. The phone is expected to get back to its normal release schedule in September and may be the first iPhone to feature a 120Hz display.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.