There may have been a mixed reaction amongst consumers to Apple’s new iPhone 5, but investors seem to be happy. Apple share price is on the up again, following a decline before the iPhone 5 announcement. In trading yesterday it hit an intraday record of $685.50 before closing at a new all-time high of $682.98. On 11 September, the day before the announcement, Apple’s share price closed at $660.59.
Analysts are positive about the iPhone 5 announcement, with some raising their forecasts for Apple's share price to between $750 and $1,000.
The rocketing share price is in contract to the iPhone 4S which got a muted response from investors on its launch in October 2011, notes Reuters.
Analysts anticipate that first-week sales of the iPhone 5 could be double those of the iPhone 4S thanks to Apple’s most aggressive launch plan yet. There are predictions that Apple could sell as many as 33 million iPhones this quarter as a result of the launch one week before the quarter ends.
We have gathered the thoughts of a number of analysts, industry experts, and stockbrokers, all of whom have issued rosy predictions based on Apple’s latest announcement and, in some cases, their hopes for future announcements relating to an iPad mini and television.
Jefferies & Co analyst Peter Misek
“The consumer is going to be blown away.”
Misek expects that Apple will sell 58 million iPhone 5 units this year. The average estimate is 47 million, according to New York Post. He has set a price target of $900 for Apple shares.
Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White
White expects sales of the iPhone 5 to surpass forecasts in the first three days and hit 5.5 million units.
Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes
Reitzes increased his target price for Apple shares to $810 from $750, noting the fact that by being available in 100 countries by year's end, this is Apple's fastest rollout yet. In a note to clients Barclays said: “We are positively surprised that this iPhone rollout is Apple's fastest yet. Given this pace it would seem Apple is very well positioned for upside in the December quarter."
The analyst continued: “Most of yesterday's announcements were expected, but we believe the launch will be successful and we look forward to another major product launch with the iPad mini and new [Macintosh models] later this fall, creating a unique holiday season for Apple," reports MarketWatch.
Credit Suisse is forecasting a 20 percent growth in high-end smartphone sales next year, and they expect that Apple will grab a 47 percent share of that - more than archrival Samsung who will get just 40 percent. Credite Suisse believes that between them the two companies will capture just over half of the overall smartphone market, putting “tremendous pressure” on RIM, HTC, Nokia and the rest of the Android market, notes a Reuters report.
William Blair & Co
Apple will continue to win sales with the older iPhone models, notes brokerage firm William Blair & Co. These models will put pressure on RIM’s BlackBerry, Nokia and less-sophisticated Android smartphones, notes the firm.
William Blair said: “The iPhone 4 will be sold for free after subsidies, replacing the 3GS and providing a strong product to compete in the high-growth, low-end smartphone market.”
William Blair & Co has raised its sales forecast for all iPhone models by 29%to 33 million for the July-September quarter. Reuters notes that this is at the top of forecasts, with most brokerages expecting between 20 million and 30 million iPhones to be sold.
Janney Capital Markets
Expects the iPhone 5 to sell 7 million to 10 million units by the end of the month.
RBC Capital Markets
Expects 8 million to 10 million iPhone 5s to be shipped during the before the end of the month, that equates to an additional $4 billion to $5 for the fourth quarter ending 30 September. The brokerage increased its price target for the stock to $750.
Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi
Sacconaghi notes that while the iPhone 5 was “essentially as expected," the rollout is faster and more aggressive, and will hit more countries more quickly than previous iPhone launches. “Apple could sell significant amounts of iPhone 5s prior to the end of this quarter, potentially 10 million or more," Sacconaghi said, reports LA Times.
Michael Yoshikami, Destination Wealth Management
Wealth management company chief executive Yoshikami was one of those less excited by the launch, but he was still satisfied. He said: “There is not a wow factor because everything you saw today is evolutionary. I do think they did enough to satisfy,” reports Reuters.
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu
Wu makes a similar comment about the fact that some feel that there is nothing groundbreaking in the new model: “It’s the same phone but sleeker. They arguably could have done more, but — as the saying goes — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
International Data Corp analyst Al Hilwa
Nodding to what’s not in the phone, Hilwa said: “There are a lot of things they could have done, especially with competitors trying everything. But they’re not going to do something unless they can do it in a decisive way.”
International Data Corp research manager Francisco Jeronimo
According to a Telegraph report, Jeronimo said that the iPhone 4S and previous versions were losing their “coolness” compared with their main competitors from Samsung, HTC , and the new Windows Phones from Nokia. He says that the new iPhone 5 closes the gap between the iPhone and the Android devices with bigger screens and high resolution displays. IDC foresees a strong Christmas season for Apple.
Gartner Research analyst Carolina Milanesi
Milanesi noted that changes to the hardware and technology aren’t what’s important, it’s what Apple offers with the software experience. She explained: “Where they are pushing the envelope, and where they remain the one to beat, is on the experience those features bring to the consumer. While other vendors continue to focus just on the hardware - delivering the speeds and feeds and bigger batteries - Apple focuses on pulling the operating system, the hardware and what you can consume on the hardware,” notes Reuters.
Capital Advisors Growth Fund co-manager Channing Smith
Smith looks to the next quarter, noting that the addition of the rumoured iPad mini will help sales. “We would really like to see the iPad Mini in the product offering for the all-important holiday quarter. They still have time,” he said.
“As soon as we see that, we will have more conviction about the stock heading into the final quarter,” he said.
J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz
Apple should regain its spot as the smartphone leader with the iPhone 5, noted Moskowitz who believes that the iPhone could surpass the sales of rival handsets such as Samsung's Galaxy S3. He also told clients that the iPhone 5's design and battery should help it avoid certain problems faced by other large LTE smartphones: “The longer form factor provides more real estate, helping preserve the battery performance. Apple commented that the new device can provide up to 8 hours of talk time on 3G or 8 hours of data on LTE. We think that these specs augur well for Apple's competitive edge in the growing LTE market, where many of the smartphones so far have been hurt by the 'pocket hog' or 'battery hog' criticism.”
Moskowitz also notes the fast rollout and claims that it is a sign that Apple will not have supply issues. There have been concerns that Apple’s suppliers will struggle to supply the phone's new in-cell displays and the 28-nanometer chips used in the Qualcomm LTE modem.
“Following the product announcement, we are increasingly confident that Apple is on the brink of a 12-18 month product cycle with the iPhone 5, helping sustain its above-peer growth potential,” the analyst added, reports Cnet.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty
Huberty described the phone's new display, form factor, and LTE support as “significant” and she expects it to drive a “strong product cycle”. Huberty estimates that iPhone 5 shipments will reach 180 million by the end of 2012 and that Apple will ship 266 million iPhone 5s in 2013.
Creative Strategies Inc analyst Tim Bajarin
Bajarin predicts a “monster” quarter for Apple as we hit the Christmas shopping season.?Regarding the new phone, Bajarin said: “When you touch it, it almost feels like fine jewelry, it's so well-crafted. People are going to realize once they touch it that this is not the same iPhone that has been on the market for the last five years,” reports La Times.
Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin
Golvin believes the iPhone 5 will help Apple beat the competition as smartphones battle to become the “digital hub”in people's lives. He said: “This is no longer a battle over individual devices. This is about an entire set of experiences that span phones, tablets and PCs,” reports La Times.
KPMG’s European head of technology Tudor Aw
Aw notes the lack of a NFC chip to enable mobile payments, and suggests that is “perhaps the biggest surprise and disappointment.”
“Mobile payments have long been touted as the 'next big thing' but to date, has simply not happened in any significant way. It had been hoped that Apple would turn its famous ability to deliver new technology through great user experience to kick-start the widespread adoption of mobile payments by consumers. The interesting question is whether this omission will mean further delay in mobile payments taking off or if it presents an opportunity for its competitors to take a lead in this field,” reports The Telegraph.
CCS Insight founder Shaun Collins
Collins notes that the iPhone 4S 8GB enables Apple to offer its products with iOS 6 at ever more aggressive price points in the UK. He told The Telegraph that as an entry-level iPhone, it’s a formidable competitor and predicts that the UK network operators will have a fight on their hands in Q4.
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