Analysts at J.P. Morgan predicted in a report on Monday that Apple could change its iPhone distribution strategy to launch new devices twice a year from 2021. The strategic shift will allow Apple to meet seasonal demand and give the company more flexibility to adjust its products within six months and compete better with other device makers that launch new phones throughout the year.
Since 2011, Apple has typically released new iPhones in September and October, driven by holidays and new models, and has set the fourth quarter as the company’s biggest financial quarter. If Apple releases its new iPhone twice a year, it will be a major strategic shift in Apple’s most important product line, JPMorgan analysts said.
“Based on our survey of the supply chain, we expect a strategic change in the pace of new releases,” said Samik Chatterjee, an analyst at JPMorgan. We expect Apple to release two new iPhones in the first half of 2021 and the second half of 2021, which will help seasonal demand. ”
Analysts also released a forecast for Apple’s 2020 iPhone series in a report on Monday. The report predicts that Apple will launch four new iPhones in September 2020, a departure strategy that differs from the three iPhone models it has adopted since 2017. They also believe Apple will release a lower-end product similar to the iPhone 8.
Analysts at JPMorgan predict that all four devices to be launched next fall will be equipped with OLED screens and support 5G, although some models do not support faster mmWave technology.
“All four new iPhones in the second half of next year will feature an OLED display, including a 5.4-inch screen, two 6.1-inch screens and an iPhone with a maximum 6.7-inch screen,” says Chatterjee. We expect two high-end models (6.1- and 6.7-inch) to support mmWave, with a three-camera lens and ‘world-facing’ 3D sensor, while two low-end models (6.1-inch and 5.4-inch) will only support the 6GHz band and dual camera lenses (none) world-facing’3D sensor). ”
Analysts say the increased screen size options and 5G support could encourage current iPhone users to upgrade.
JPMorgan has raised its 12-month target to $296 from $290.