With no 5G networks, Apple’s iPhone 12 sales may be disappointing

Rich Duprey, The Motley Fool
Published 11:58 a.m. ET Oct. 13, 2020

Apple is ready to debut its new 5G iPhone today, but one analyst thinks public reception to the newest model will be underwhelming.

Harsh Kumar, an analyst at Piper Sandler, says a survey of 1,000 people indicates only 10% of current iPhone owners say they will upgrade to the iPhone 12 after it debuts at today’s Apple event, according to a report by TheFly.com.

Kumar told investors in a note that previous surveys showed as many as 23% of iPhone owners had planned to upgrade to the newest iteration. So, he said, “We are a bit surprised by the lower than expected demand given the cellular transition, but the global pandemic may be putting pressure on spending patterns this fall/winter.” The new iPhone is expected to cost $1,200.

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The low figure in the latest survey also is at odds with other surveys that have suggested the 5G iPhone 12 could be a massive hit. Electronics reseller Decluttr, for example, recently released results of a survey of 1,750 adults showing that a “staggering” 53% said they plan to buy the new iPhone, though 28% of respondents thought they already had a 5G phone.

 (Photo: Apple)

Even if consumers do buy the tech stock’s latest smartphone, they may be disappointed in its 5G capabilities, as AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have yet to roll out 5G networks that consistently provide higher data speeds or broad-enough coverage to make it useful.

Although Apple has asked suppliers to produce enough components for 80 million phones, Samsung shipped just 3.4 million 5G phones in the first quarter.

Kumar maintains an overweight rating on Apple’s stock with a $130 price target, less than 5% above where it is currently trading.

Rich Duprey owns shares of AT&T. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool recommends T-Mobile US and Verizon Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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