Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camerasSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee has decreased iPhone shipment expectations for 2021.
  • Despite this, the analyst expects the iPhone 12 lineup to increase volume 13% compared to last year.

Despite "weaker demand" for the iPhone 12 lineup this quarter, Apple's latest iPhone lineup continues to outpace previous years due to excitement around the adoption of 5G technology.

In an investor note seen by AppleInsider, JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee has decreased his 2021 iPhone shipment expectations from 236 million units to 230 million units. Rather than interpreting the decrease as a hit against Apple, Chatterjee notes that 230 million units equate to a 13% overall increase in shipments for Apple when compared to 2020.

Apple iPhone 12Source: Apple

The analyst still expects that the company will discontinue production of the iPhone 12 mini as the device has experienced lackluster sales.

Downward revisions following a holiday quarter isn't out of the ordinary. However, Chatterjee says that lackluster demand for the iPhone 12 mini and a major cut to iPhone 12 Pro shipments both make the bank "take note of a weaker demand environment." He also expects Apple to discontinue iPhone 12 mini production in the second quarter of 2021.

Chatterjee believes that slowing performance in China is a major contributor to the decrease in expected shipments, but the analyst still expects Apple to maintain overall production.

In the March quarter, Chatterjee has revised his shipment estimate to 52 million units, down from 55 million. For the June quarter, he revised the number to 42 million units from 36 million units. "However, at this time we do not see any reason to change our 2H21 volume forecast," he wrote, adding that the supply chain is continuing with its 80 to 90 million build estimate for the first half of 2021.

Apple has reportedly already shifted production from the iPhone 12 mini to its more successful models like the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Pacific Blue

iPhone 12 Pro

Bottom line: 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.

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