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More evidence of better-than-expected iPhone 12 demand as Foxconn beats revenue expectations

A report last month suggested that Apple was taken by surprise by better-than-expected iPhone 12 demand, boosting 2021 production plans by between 20% and 30% – and supporting evidence continues to accumulate.

Counterpoint found that the iPhone 12 was the world’s best-selling 5G phone, Qualcomm’s dramatic boost in Q3 2020 revenue was largely credited to the new iPhone lineup, and other supply-chain sources pointed to reality matching the supercycle hype. Today, record revenues for primary iPhone supplier Foxconn adds to the weight of evidence …

Bloomberg reports that Foxconn – formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. – also beat analyst expectations.

Main iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue thanks to robust demand for Apple Inc.’s new 5G devices.

The Taiwanese company’s sales in December totaled NT$713.8 billion ($25.5 billion). Revenue in the quarter reached a record NT$2 trillion, according to Bloomberg News’s calculations based on previously released monthly sales figures, beating the average estimate of NT$1.8 trillion.

The strong showing from Apple’s most important production partner suggest demand for the U.S. giant’s latest devices may have surpassed initial expectations.

Foxconn is the sole assembler of the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max. The company said that it expects continued growth across 2021, despite the ongoing impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Although the usual cautions apply when analyzing the financial performance of Apple suppliers, we noted recently that the story here seems too consistent to dispute.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has frequently cautioned against reading too much into supply-chain sources. Apple likes to source components from multiple suppliers, so the fortunes of any one of them may not reveal anything other than the Cupertino company switching orders between them. However, looking at the size of orders received by multiple Apple suppliers, as well as any increases or decreases to those orders following launch, can provide insight into likely sales numbers.

Foxconn itself said back in November that iPhone 12 shipments were “strong,” as the company also admitted it still had no idea of its plans for the Wisconsin plant.

Photo: Daniel Romero on Unsplash

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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