On Tuesday, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst John Vinh said positive signals coming from Asian suppliers of iPhone parts may be due to preparation for tariffs that could take effect in December, rather than better demand trends.
“It remains unclear to us whether the increased demand from the supply chain is end-demand-driven as our latest carrier survey results continue to indicate demand is largely ‘OK’ and ‘in line’ with expectations, which suggests that pull-ins ahead of the potential increased U.S. tariffs in December are driving higher demand,” he wrote.
The U.S. is still scheduled to institute another round of tariffs on imports from China in mid-December. If implemented, the levies would affect many Apple products.
The analyst cited suppliers that said iPhone 11 demand is “slightly better” than expected. But his firm’s checks with wireless carriers in North America and Europe have revealed the Pro and Pro Max models were doing better than the iPhone 11.
MacDailyNews Take: It could be some combination of healthy demand (there are a lot of iPhone 6/6 Plus owners out there in dire need of an upgrade) and stockpiling ahead of potential U.S. import tariffs.
One thing’s for sure, we’re going to find out how iPhone sales did out of the gate when Apple reports holiday quarter results at the end of January 2020.