If the upcoming iPhone 8 is as commercially successful as some predict, Apple may have 1 billion mobile users by the end of the decade.
The iPhone 8 release is set to “unleash pentup demand,” with annual unit sales reaching 270 million in 2019, according to research analysts at Credit Suisse.
Reaching those sales figures would put global iPhone users in the neighbourhood of 970 million by the end of 2019.
“We remain convinced that the iPhone product cycle will be significant in terms of driving multi-year unit growth,” the Credit Suisse report noted. “Apple’s installed base has seen robust growth over the past few years, which we believe has doubled since 2013, and now stands at just under 700mn users.”
Credit Suisse expects iPhone 8 shipments to total 229 million in 2017 and 250 million in 2018. But those estimates may prove to be conservative if existing iPhone users upgrade at a similar rate as after the release of the iPhone 6. Returning to a higher upgrade rate would push iPhone sales roughly 9% above those estimated sales figures, according to Credit Suisse.
Apple already leads all of its competitors in customer loyalty, so an increase in upgrades may be within reach.
Additionally, Oppenheimer’s equity research department issued a report stating there is increased interest over the iPhone 8 in China, which has been a difficult market for Apple to gain traction.
“We do believe there is pent-up demand for iPhone 8, which is widely reported to make a few major design changes,” noted the report. Oppenheimer also stated, “The key question, whether Apple can supply enough iPhone 8 without major bottlenecks in the supply chain, remains unanswered.”