Can Apple Sell 200 Million iPhone 14s?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is scheduled to announce its iPhone 14 model in September. This would be the month when new iPhone models get introduced. To be a success, Apple will need to sell 200 million of these in the year after it is available.

Early this year, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote that Apple had sold 40 million iPhone 13 units over the holidays. He assumed this number could grow substantially. His reasoning came from the fact that 230 million of the 975 million iPhone owners worldwide had not upgraded in the two and a half years prior to his forecast, according to MacRumors.

Apple will need to be as successful this holiday as it was last if it hopes to hit the 200 million iPhone 14 unit sales. One factor will be how hard consumers will be hit in the current economic downturn. This is particularly true in the huge Chinese market. China’s economic growth has dropped to the lowest rate since the Great Recession.

Another open issue is how much the iPhone 14 will change from its predecessors. One complaint about recent iPhone models is that they are little different from the ones that came just before them. In the past, this does not appear to have dented sales.

In Apple’s most recently reported quarter, revenue rose slightly year over year to $83 billion. Of this, $63 billion was product sales. Apple does not break out iPhone numbers. However, based on the period when it did, iPhone sales make up most of this product sales figure. iPhone sales are more critical than any other foundation of Apple’s revenue.

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The iPhone’s success continues to be based as much on Apple’s brand as product upgrades from one generation of the smartphone to the next. This is considered the primary reason its sales are so far ahead of second place Samsung and the other smartphone makers that have any global market share of substance.

With the introduction of each new iPhone, skeptics continue to argue Apple eventually has to stumble. The iPhone 14 will show if that is true.

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