KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report that predicts Apple Pencil shipments will double this year. Kuo believes it is possible the iPhone could eventually support Apple Pencil, but it’s more likely that the new 9.7-inch iPad expected to be unveiled next week will work with Apple Pencil.
As a result, Kuo forecasts Apple Pencil sales — which the company doesn’t specifically disclose — will double to 9-10 million this year from what Kuo estimates at 4-4.5 million last year.
Kuo’s report serves to give investors clues at which part makers will benefit from increased Apple Pencil sales, but it’s the first report in which the analyst makes this claim, albeit without committing firmly.
The whole premise of Apple doubling its Pencil shipments in 2018 over 2017 is around Apple adding support for its digital stylus to the lower-priced iPad due out next week.
Apple currently supports Pencil on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and both versions of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple’s next iPad expected to be unveiled next week will likely serve as the replacement for the current $329 fifth-generation iPad which lacks Apple Pencil support.
Much of the speculation around the cheaper iPad supporting Apple Pencil surfaced from the education event invitation which includes an Apple Pencil sketched Apple logo.
KGI further predicts that the new 9.7-inch iPad will account for 70% of iPad sales across 2018 — in part because new iPad Pros aren’t expected to launch until later in the year.
Kuo believes that larger iPhones will eventually work with Apple Pencil as well, but that is not expected to happen this year.