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A guessing game: iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch sales

A guessing game: iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch sales

October 22, 2015

The 2016 first quarter of Apple’s fiscal year is right around the corner, encompassing the busy holiday shopping season in the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe, and many other regions. In a research note provided to MacRumors, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo provides estimates for sales numbers for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.


Kuo estimates between 70 and 75 million iPhone devices to be sold during the holiday shopping season. For the Apple Watch, Kuo is calling for between 3.5 and four million units sold. The analyst believes that iPhone sales momentum could gradually decline in the new year, potentially leading to the first year-over-year shipments decline in the first quarter of a year. In the quote below, “QoQ” stands for quarter over quarter, and “YoY” is year over year.

We estimate iPhone shipments rose 2.1% QoQ and 23.6% YoY to 48.5mn units in 3Q15, of which 20–22mn units were iPhone 6s. We attribute the solid YoY growth to the inclusion of China as the first-launch market for iPhone 6s and to increased output of the new model (versus 14–15mn units of iPhone 6 in 3Q14).

However, as we do not expect overall demand for iPhone 6s to be significantly stronger than that for iPhone 6, we expect shipments momentum could gradually decline in 4Q15–1Q16F on a YoY basis. We expect iPhone may see its first YoY shipments decline in the first quarter of a year in 2016.

In iPad news, Kuo expects to see between 14.5 and 15.5 million devices sold during the first fiscal quarter of 2016. Of those, the analyst expects around 2 million iPad Pro devices to ship, possibly offsetting an annual decline in tablet shipments because of the higher selling price of the new model.


Kuo is typically well-informed, and his estimates often prove true. Unfortunately, we may never know how many Apple Watches are sold, simply because Cupertino has consistently stated that it will not disclose those numbers for competitive reasons. I’m a bit perplexed by this, to be honest, since iPhone and iPad sales figures are regularly reported.

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