What you need to know

  • A notoriously pessimistic analyst claims Apple will cut its iPhone 11 Pro Max production by 2 million units due to weaker sales.
  • Jun Zhang of Rosenblatt Securities also says that the 11 Pro and Pro Max sales are down 15% compared to the XS and XS Max.
  • He does however suggest that the iPhone 11 has sold 12 million units since September, a 15% increase over the XR.

Analyst Jun Zhang of Rosenblatt Securities has predicted that Apple will cuts its iPhone 11 Pro Max production by 2 million units due to weaker sales.

According to AppleInsider the report suggests that Zhang believes that sales of both the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are down 15% compared to the XS and XS Max. He also believes that the iPhone 11 has sold more than 12 million units since its September launch, 15% more than the XR did last year.

Zhang also lowballed predictions over production of the "iPhone SE 2", The report notes:

Zhang also estimates iPhone total production volumes to drop year-over-year in the first and second quarter of 2020, but it isn't clear what he's basing his assumptions on. In Thursday's note he assumes the volume of the "iPhone SE 2" will be somewhat smaller, with a production of three million units per quarter starting in 2020.

The three million per quarter production estimate is not close to the iPhone SE sales volume after the first two launch quarters, where it is believed that Apple sold about 20 million in total across the launch period. The production numbers predicted by Zhang are closer to the steady-state of iPhone SE sales when the iPhone 7 launched, and until Apple discontinued the model.

As the report states, Zhang's notes are notoriously pessimistic when it comes to Apple, with claims of delay or decreased production a common theme. Zhang was reportedly way off when it came to predicting demand for the iPhone X.

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More notably, Zhang and Rosenblatt caused AAPL to briefly slide in July of this year, after downgrading Apple's stock from 'neutral' to 'sell', citing flat iPhone sales and a slowdown for Apple's services. At the time, AAPL was trading at roughly $200. Yesterday, four months later, it closed at $243.18.

Zhang and Rosenblatt's current target share price for Apple is $150, which was reduced from $165 in January of this year. Again, given Apple's recent share performance and current price, the kindest way to describe this would be "wrong".

With Apple's earnings call just a few days away, we don't have long to wait before we have a clearer picture of just how well (or not) Apple has done this quarter. Of particular note will of course be the performance of the new iPhone 11 range.

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