Apple may sell more than 30M iPhone SE units in the first year, analyst claims

Apple's iPhone SE

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Apple could ship an estimated 30 million refreshed, 5G-equipped iPhone SE units in the first year after its potential debut on Tuesday, according to a Wedbush analyst.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, Wedbush's Daniel Ives lays out his expectations for Apple's "Peek Performance" event, slated for 10 a.m. Pacific on Tuesda, March 8. Mostly, Ives focuses on what he calls the "highlight" of the event: a new $399 iPhone SE with an A15 Bionic and 5G.

"We do not expect major hardware design changes, as the Apple chip upgrade and 5G will be the headline of the event to further catalyze upgrades

during this massive iPhone 13 led product cycle," Ives writes.

The analyst predicts that the iPhone SE could translate into 30 million incremental units over the year after its debut because of pent-up demand. Importantly, Ives calls this 30 million unit forecast "conservative."

While the analyst calls the figure conservative, it's still more than what estimates claim for sales volumes for 2020 iPhone SE in its first year. Apple doesn't report sales numbers beyond dollar values at all, but estimates for that first year come in at about 24 million units sold.

That's because the device's low price point and specifications translates to a "standout" value proposition for consumers, especially when compared to competition devices. Ives believes the iPhone SE could help Apple take more market share from its Android rivals.

In addition to the updated iPhone SE, Ives also expects Apple to debut a new "iPad Air 5" with an A15 chip and at least one new Mac model, which he believes will be a 13-inch MacBook Pro with an updated "M2" chipset. Other Mac models are likelier to debut at WWDC 2022, while "Apple Glass" could hit the market before the fall, the analyst adds.

Because the iPhone growth story is playing out as expected despite supply issues, Ives calls Apple a "safety tech name to own" during market volatility — including any potential storms during the current geopolitical situation involving the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The analyst maintains his Outperform rating for Apple and his 12-month price target of $200, based on a sum-of-the-parts valuation on Wedbush's 2022 estimates. That includes an 18x multiple on Services at $1.5 trillion and a 7x multiple on Apple's hardware business at $2.1 trillion.