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Apple's 2019 iPhones are off to a strong start in terms of sales in the United States, analysts at UBS claim, but the firm's data suggests customers may have to wait longer to get hold of the iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro models than customers did for the 2018 releases.
After observing a "general bias" to the downside for iPhone sales from other analysts, the investor note from UBS seen by AppleInsider indicates the data does "not suggest the type of short-falls in sales that we saw last year." UBS reckons it is due to "more modest expectations from Apple" and its supply chain for 2019.
On the subject of availability, using data from the first five days after launch suggests there are longer wait times for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro than the iPhone XR and iPhone XS, with supply for the iPhone 11 "much more modest" despite having a lower average selling price versus the iPhone XR.
In the first five days, availability in the US for the 2019 models is longer compared to last year, with iPhone 11 availability better in Japan and the United Kingdom relative to the US, while the iPhone 11 Pro's availability somewhat longer in the US, UK, and Hong Kong than the iPhone 11.
After a visit to 38 companies in Asia last week, UBS has increased its smartphone market estimate for the full-year 2019 from being down 7% to down 5%. For iPhones, procurement for new models is apparently tracking flat, at -12% year-on-year for the second half of 2019, which could imply 60 to 68 million units coming from the supply chain.
UBS continues to model the second half of 2019's iPhone shipments down 5.3%, slightly pessimistic compared to the Wall Street consensus of down 4.4%. While supply chain build plans "could be biased lower" than UBS' original estimate, the firm believes it isn't something that will trigger investors to sell their shares "given what should be a big 2020 on a number of fronts."
The current UBS valuation of Apple is "Buy" with a price target of $235.