Foxconn Employee Suggests Apple iPhone 5 Due in October
Another day, another Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) rumor. It seems stern warnings to suppliers from the Cupertino headquarters wear down with distance, as Foxconn employees have - again - weighed on the possible release of its next iPhone. According to the head of human resources at Foxconn's Taiyuan factory, the white-hot smartphone will be released in October.
That release date is not exactly an earth-shattering revelation given that it is the time frame in which Apple released its latest iPhone, the 4s. The potential date for the iPhone line has been ping-ponged between June and October since the [eventual] 4s missed its usual June launch. It was just last month that another Foxconn employee, a recruiter from the same location, had pegged the date for June given the hiring ramp-up - typically ahead of a major release - at the factory.
That said, the eventual release date of the next iPhone is of material consequence for Apple constituents.
First among them, the shareholders. With AAPL shares having posted a parabolic upside trajectory year-to-date, there is a lot of volatility to forward outlook, and the market enthusiasm that usually surrounds the release of a new iPhone may be needed to tip the scales in one direction. Several analysts have reaffirmed their faith on the company's seemingly unabating growth - Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster being among the most vocal - and extended their price targets on the stock to found digits. But others have pointed to possible undercurrents among wireless carriers that may develop into chinks on Apple's armor. BTIG joined a minority of research firms rated Neutral on Apple earlier today, on concerns that carriers such as AT&T may eventually balk at the tremendous subsidy costs on Apple handsets. A new and shinier iPhone, whenever it arrives, may remind carriers of past magic.
Second, while Apple consumers have arguably proven enough diehard fans so as to be counted on for their continued patronage of new sets, a delay in the new products may postpone purchases, which has the potential to play havoc with those who watch shipment numbers as the ultimate measure of the company's health. With all-but-confirmed 4G LTE technology and the usual kick-up in processing power and new operating system, users are more motivated than ever to hold on to their “ancient” iPhone 4 and 4s handsets. On the other hand, an October release primes the pump for outperformance in holiday shipments, much like the 4s did last year.
Last (and truly least) are the Apple rumor-mongers. The sooner the new iPhone is out, the earlier their rumors for the one after that can start.
AAPL currently trades at $631.53, down $2.07 from Friday's close. On Friday, shares saw yet another all-time high of $634.66.
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