Analyst predicts iPhone 12 ‘supercycle’ driven by a ‘perfect storm’ for upgrades

Apple stock has been tumultuous over the past few days due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. AAPL shot up 9.3% in one day yesterday, and one analyst seemingly thinks that yesterday’s performance is a sign of things to come.

As noted by Barron’s, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives continues to be bullish on Apple stock. The analyst holds a $400 price target for the stock, and he’s standing firm on his belief that there will be a “supercycle” for iPhone upgrade rates this year with the 5G iPhone 12:

“While the last few weeks has been an exogenous ‘shock event’ to Apple’s ecosystem on both the supply and demand side due to its China exposure,” he writes, “we believe this will be short lived as the longer term 5G super cycle thesis and services re-rating remain the crux of our bull thesis on Apple for the next 12 to 18 months.”

Ives believes that there will be a “perfect storm of demand” for iPhone upgrades this fall, with around 350 million of Apple’s over 900 million iPhone customers being in a “window of an upgrade opportunity.” In fact, Ives predicts that Apple will sell between 200 million and 215 million during the September 2021 fiscal year.

Apple is expected to introduce an entirely new iPhone lineup this fall, including four new models that all feature 5G connectivity. The variety of the iPhone lineup, combined with the consumer push towards 5G, could be a major driver of iPhone demand.

Despite this bullish stance on Apple, however, Ives acknowledges that there could be some short-term struggles related to coronavirus:

“Clearly there will be some speed bumps along the way as Cupertino navigates the coronavirus outbreak,” he writes. “However, we continue to focus on the golden installed base, pent up iPhone upgrade demand activity, and 5G super cycle on the horizon as core components of our bull thesis, along with the $50 billion+ annual services business.”

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