“Our Asia supply chain checks for iPhones continue to be incrementally bullish around iPhone 12 5G demand and have now exceeded even our bull case scenario for units in FY21,” he wrote in a commentary.
That’s “a major positive for shares over the coming months,” Ives said. And it’s not just iPhones. For the holiday season Apple “also had a strong Air Pods performance that will be another product tailwind heading into 2021 for [Chief Executive Tim] Cook & Co.”
Ives maintained his outperform rating and $160 price target on Apple shares.
The tech giant rose 0.42% in premarket trading Thursday to $134.28. The stock has risen 82% year to date through Wednesday.
“Based on our recent Asia checks we believe the supply chain is anticipating low to mid 90 million iPhone unit builds for the December quarter,” Ives said. “To put this in context, in mid-December we had this in the 80 million range. … This is roughly a 35% increase from our original and Street forecasts.”
Further, “for the March quarter we believe builds for total iPhones ticked up again another 5% over the last week and are now in the 60 million to 70 million range,” Ives said. “For the June quarter we believe initial builds are in the low 40 million range with potentially an upward bias. We have not seen a launch uptrend such as this in a number of years for Apple. The only iPhone trajectory similar would be the iPhone 6 in 2014.”