KGI Research’s Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a fair track record in these sort of things, predicts Apple’s iPhone lineup will sell 71.5 million units on Q4 2014, before dropping to 49.4 million units in Q1 2015. The analyst also sees the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5c increasing in sales in 2015, only to be discontinued once Apple ceases production of the handsets.
Strong iPhone shipments in 4Q14. We forecast overall iPhone shipments will surge 82% QoQ to 71.5mn units in 4Q14, given robust demand for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 Plus supply shortage implies not only robust demand, but also confirms our concerns regarding constraints within the supply chain. We believe 4Q14 iPhone shipments will be stronger if supply chain constraints are eased.
Kuo also says that he expects iPhone 6 shipments to outnumber those of the iPhone 6 Plus by a 2:1 ratio:
We attribute the shortage of iPhone 6 Plus partly to less smooth production than iPhone 6. Moreover, while iPhone 6 Plus attracted greater attention when it was launched, we think more consumers will prefer iPhone 6 as they can operate the handset with one hand. Eventually, iPhone 6 shipments will outperform those of the iPhone 6 Plus model.
A survey of U.S. customers done earlier this month by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) showed U.S. consumers are favoring the iPhone 6 over the iPhone 6 Plus by a 3:1 ratio. That is likely to settle down to Kuo’s predicted 2:1 once supply of the 6 Plus is less constrained. Shipping times for the iPhone 6 Plus improved last week, with the 16GB model showing a shipping estimate of 7 to 10 days and the 64GB model showing an estimate of 2 to 3 weeks.
The removal of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5c from Apple’s iPhone lineup will streamline the maker’s offerings, making Touch ID ubiquitous across the entire lineup.