Apple iPhone upgrades in 2017 should have enough desirable new features that they will likely break all previous sales records, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote on Tuesday.
Next year’s iteration of the iOS-based smartphone will have an all-new exterior design after three years of relative stagnation, Kuo said in a report. With a glass outer casing, wireless charging and—for some models—an OLED screen, the 2017 models will generate “potentially unprecedented replacement demand,” Kuo wrote.
Sales in the second half of 2017 could total 120 million to 150 million iPhones, possibly surpassing the 122.8 million iPhones sold in the second half of 2015 and the 113.7 million sold in the second half of 2014.
For the second half of this year, Apple (AAPL) sold 45.5 million iPhones in the third quarter, and Wall Street analysts expect another 78 million for this quarter, for a projected total of 123.5 million.
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Apple itself has said nothing about next year’s iPhone. Kuo, who taps sources in Apple’s Asian supply chain, has a long string of mostly accurate predictions about the company’s future products.
Kuo has previously reported that only a premium version of the iPhone Plus model will get a much sharper screen by replacing current LED technology with higher contrast OLED. Next year’s standard iPhone Plus and the smaller-screened standard iPhone will stick with TFT-LCD display technology, the analyst said. But the wireless charging feature and all-glass exterior on the two LCD models could still attract many buyers.
Many analysts have said they expect that more current iPhone owners will want to upgrade next year when the device is likely to get the more significant makeover. The iPhone 7 had nearly the same exterior as the prior iPhone 6s and the two-year-old iPhone 6, except for the elimination of the earphone jack and the addition of a two-lens camera on the Plus version.