In a research note, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, Kuo believes that iPhone sales momentum could gradually decline in the new year, possibly enough for the device to experience its first year-over-year shipments decline in the first quarter of a year in 2016.
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).Kuo also forecasts between 14.5-15.5 million iPad shipments and 5.4-5.6 million Mac shipments in fiscal Q1 2016, which lines up with Q4 2015 of the calendar year, a three-month period ending December 31.
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.
The analyst expects iPad Pro shipments to be around 2 million in fiscal Q1 2016, and believes the tablet's higher selling price will help offset an annual decline in iPad shipments, which could fall 16% to 40-42 million units in 2016.
We now expect shipments of iPad Pro to be around 2mn units in 4Q15, versus our previous forecast of 4-5mn units given quality issues with Sharp’s panel supply. However, thanks to a higher shipments weighting of iPad Pro, coupled with a lower mix of iPad mini, we anticipate the ASP of end-products and some components will trend up in 2016F (e.g. we estimate the ASP of backlight unit to rise 30-35% in 2016). This should be enough to offset total iPad shipments decline, which we estimate will fall 16% to 40-42mn units in 2016F.Kuo expects that, amid lackluster sales for PCs, Mac sales will continue to be better than those of competitors. The well-informed analyst says the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro is Apple's most popular notebook, followed by the 12-inch MacBook, and expects the new iMacs with 4K and 5K Retina displays to account for at least 50-60% of total iMac shipments in Q1 2016 of the fiscal year.