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Supply chain analyst Ming Chi Kuo contradicts earlier claims of Apple delaying the iPhone 15 Pro Max delivery due to manufacturing issues. According to Kuo, aside from the starting “mass shipments this week,” the expected unit manufacturing number of the iPhone 15 models remains.
In the past weeks, different reports about manufacturing and supply issues of the iPhone 15 models surfaced. For instance, in July, Barclays analyst Tim Long claimed Apple was facing some problems in production, mainly due to component shortages of titanium alloy frame casing and camera module for iPhone 15. He added that the brand was about a month behind schedule.
After that, Bank of America Global Research analyst Wamsi Mohan said that “the launch of the iPhone 15 could be delayed by a few weeks.” Alongside this claim, it was reported that there was a problem with the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max display manufacturing due to their thin bezel. More recently, the website 9To5Mac also claimed that Apple would have to push for the model’s release between October 6 and October 13, mentioning an issue related to the Pro Max’s periscope lens system.
The claims resulted in production cut predictions from analysts, including the one from Jeff Pu of Hong Kong-based investment firm Haitong International Securities. According to Pu, Apple’s former plan for 83 million iPhone 15 units would drop to 77 million, citing supply issues and demand concerns as reasons. Mizuho Bank of Japan followed this prediction, decreasing its predicted production of 84 million units of iPhone 15 to 73 million.
Kuo, however, contradicted all the claims in a recent blog post, saying that Apple would, in fact, start the mass shipments of iPhone 15 Pro Max this week. The analyst also stressed that despite the previous issues reported, the planned quantity of the line’s unit productions would stay the same alongside the increase in the shipments of its legacy models. Specifically, Kuo stated that Apple would ship 80 million iPhone 15 units and expressed belief in the company’s 250 million units production plan for 2024.
“Apple’s latest iPhone shipment target for 2024 is 250 million units, and a reasonable 2024 iPhone shipment estimate, from my view, could reach 5–10% YoY,” the analyst wrote. ‘Since Samsung’s internal view of 2024 market demand is still conservative, Apple will likely remain the largest smartphone brand in 2024.”
Kuo’s predictions support a recent report from research firm Counterpoint Research, saying Apple could snatch the top spot in 2023 despite the year expected to be “the worst year for global smartphone shipments in ten years.” According to its report, carrier companies will play a huge role in alleviating the situation for Apple by offering promos that could aid the iPhone sales this year.