The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have the potential to be more successful than any other iPhone Apple has released, according to analysts. The reason is simple — there are still a lot of people out there who want big screens.
Even after Apple’s new iPhone launches, most likely later this year, the existing iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models could continue to enjoy brisk sales, reckons Cowen and Co analyst Timothy Arcuri.
He noted that the demand for cheaper large-screened phones in general is high, so Apple has a big opportunity to sell tons of iPhones if it lowers the prices of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus when the new model is released.
“I think the iPhone 6 will have a much longer demand tail that they can tap into for the September quarter,” Arcuri said in an interview with Business Insider.
The next generation iPhone is expected to offer a few modest updates, such as a Force Touch screen and a better camera. Even after Apple launches its next iPhone, its current models are in a better position to compete with top-tier Android phones because they’re the same size. Apple’s older iPhones, such as the iPhone 5S, were considerably smaller than the Android phones they competed with for around the same price.
“[Apple] knows that this is a little different than prior cycles, where you would price reduce the old phone,” Arcuri said. “…If the price is right, I think there could be a pretty deep demand pool for a price-reduced iPhone 6 certainly compared to a price reduced 5s or 5 or 4 or any prior phone that was competing in the market against other phones with a similar ASP that had a larger screen.”
Apple’s newest iPhones have also resonated with Android users more strongly than phones the company has released in the past. During the company’s last earnings call in April, CEO Tim Cook couldn’t stop talking about how many people have switched over from Android to the iPhone. This trend is likely to continue, Arcuri says, especially if Apple lowers the price of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
“This is the first real iPhone where you’re seeing a material amount of switching happening,” he said. “I think that it’s almost at the point where you’ve reached a tipping point where Samsung is going to have a very tough time competing at the high end.”
Arcuri’s theory isn’t new — in April, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster made similar predictions, forecasting that Apple would beat Wall Street’s estimates and snag more smartphone market share than usual during the period between June through December because of the iPhone 6’s larger screen. Munster even called the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus “fundamentally different” than past iPhones.
Apple reports earnings for the three-month period including April, May, and June on Tuesday, and it’s expected to be another monster quarter for the iPhone.