Apple's iPhone continues to generate headlines in the pre-release hubbub of expectation, with analysts and AT&T predicting good results for the product when it ships in the US on 29 June.
Credit Suisse analyst Robert Semple last night added $20 to his target price on Apple stock, offering clients a new target of $140 per share.
A MarketWatch report says the analyst expects the iPhone to "elicit a superior perceived value" compared to other mobiles, citing technological advances and the hype surrounding the device. Semple predicts Apple will sell five million iPhones this year and an additional 15 million in 2008.
The introduction of the device has generated a hail of pre-release excitement, an analyst told the Kansas City Star. "It's probably the most anticipated phone in living memory," said Roger Entner, senior vice president at IAG Research. "Carrying around one device is very convenient."
With a $499 price tag, Entner observes the device won't be for everybody, but should provide a boost to the smartphone market.
"The iPhone is being positioned as the Rolls-Royce or Ferrari of all phones," he observed. "You go to the Ferrari dealership and ogle the Ferrari," he added, "but then you go buy a Pontiac."
Apple's US mobile network partner, AT&T, has high expectations for the iPhone. The company's incoming CEO, Randall Stephenson, told GigaOM: "The iPhone is a radically innovative new device and it only makes sense that AT&T and Apple would partner to bring it to market. This device is very important to us, it’s important to Apple and it is going to do very well with customers. It also reinforces with consumers that AT&T is the place to turn for the latest in wireless devices and services."
In Europe, Apple is understood to be in discussion with mobile networks in order to establish a deal to bring the iPhone to market here.
Orange and Vodafone are understood to be the front-runners to distribute the device in Europe - but Apple is apparently making demands that European mobile telcos aren't happy to support.
In the US, Apple was able to achieve an unprecedented deal with AT&T (then Cingular), under which the mobile firm gave Cupertino approval for a deal without actually seeing the final product, it has previously been claimed.
Carphone Warehouse announced its financial results yesterday. During the annual results webcast, company's CEO Charles Dunstone let slip that Apple requires mobile operators to put its own servers in place deep inside their network in order to support iPhone.
Why the company is demanding this isn't clear, but the effect of the requirement is to give Apple tight control of the operator's network distribution model, Seeking Alpha explains.
The move may also prevent a market for locked and unlocked stolen handsets from emerging.
Meanwhile, in the US, Apple has launched three iPhone advertisements: 'Never Been An iPod", "How To" and "Calamari". All three ads are available to view online.
The three ads focus on the device's ease-of-use, its advanced touch screen and impressive features, including the ability to navigate album artwork using CoverFlow.
They also stress that the iPhone offers features that have never been made available on an iPod - leading some industry observers to predict some such talents (including a touchscreen) may be added to the iPod range later this year, when Apple is expected to update its range of media players.