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Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Paints a Bleak Outlook for the iPhone in 2024

1 cover Ming-Chi Kuo prediction on Calendar Q4 2024 results

Prior to Apple delivering their financial results for fiscal Q1 2024 on Thursday (Feb. 1st), Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple has  lowered its 2024 iPhone shipments of key upstream semiconductor components to about 200 million units (down 15% YoY). Below are Kuo's key research points:

  • iPhone 15 series and new iPhone 16 series shipments will decline by 10–15% YoY in 1H24 and 2H24, respectively (compared to iPhone 14 series shipments in 1H23 and iPhone 15 series shipments in 2H23, respectively).
  • The iPhone faces structural challenges that will lead to a significant decline in shipments in 2024, including the emergence of a new paradigm in high-end mobile phone design and the continued decline in shipments in the Chinese market.
  • The new high-end mobile phone design paradigm includes AI (GenAI) and foldable phones. The main reason for the decline in the Chinese market is the return of Huawei and the increasing preference for foldable phones among high-end users as their first choice for phone replacement.
  • Benefiting from the higher-than-expected demand due to the high integration of GenAI functions, Samsung has revised up the shipments of the Galaxy S24 series in 2024 by 5–10%, while Apple has revised down the shipment forecast of iPhone 15 in 1H24.
  • Apple’s weekly shipments in China have declined by 30–40% YoY in recent weeks, and this downward trend is expected to continue. The main reason for the decline is the return of Huawei and the fact that foldable phones have gradually become the first choice for high-end users in the Chinese market.
  • It is expected that Apple will not launch new iPhone models with significant design changes and the more comprehensive/differentiated GenAI ecosystem/applications until 2025 at the earliest. Until then, it will likely harm Apple’s iPhone shipment momentum and ecosystem growth.


As far as Kuo's commentary that the iPhone is " continuing to decline in shipments in the Chinese market, " the latest statistics from Canalys published last Friday, Apple's Shipments were the best in Mainland China, up 6% year-over-year and gaining 8% market share. Secondly, while Huawei may have returned to the top five list in calendar Q4, they've not been a threat to Apple as the stats chart below proves out.

2 iPhone #1 in Mainland China Q4 2023

Only time will tell if Kuo's research notes come close to his predictions. If not, then his research notes were a nice marketing report for Chinese OEMs.  

On Thursday we'll see if either Apple's CEO or CFO make any predictions supporting Kuo's claims.  

For the record, Apple continues to explore new form factors for smartphones as our archives prove out. In fact, one such patent was published today by the U.S. Patent Office for an iPhone with an expandable display. To date, foldable smartphones have yet to hurt Apple's premium smartphone lead no matter how loud markers try to make it so. At 5% market share or less divided amongst at least 7 OEMs, foldables haven't been a threat to Apple's market position.

10.X - Research notes & Rumors from Ming-Chi Kuo




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