Apple to Introduce New iPhone Wednesday
Apple (NASDAQ: APPL) will likely unveil the new iPhone on Wednesday. Gene Munster of PiperJaffray, considered one of the top Apple analysts, says that Apple can sell 10 million iPhone 5 units in the first three weeks alone.
It took Samsung about 50 days to sell 10 million of the biggest iPhone competitor, the Galaxy S III smartphone.
This is important for Apple because sales will be booked into the current quarter. Sales of Apple's iPhone4 slipped last quarter as consumers put off purchases to wait for the iPhone 5.
Munster was looking out beyond the iPhone 5 introduction. He thinks that Apple might cut the price to $200 from $375 to make the phone more accessible in emerging markets. Munster said in August that it is becoming increasingly possible for Apple to make a lower-end iPhone for those emerging markets in the $130-150 range.
Munster has an Overweight rating on Apple and his price target is $910.
The once-a-year iPhone introduction helps build anticipation for each new device, with news outlets and websites speculating about what new designs and features will be unveiled. The new phone will probably have a new hardware design, including a bigger screen and thinner body, as well as new mapping software and compatibility with speedier next-generation data networks. Analysts predict the next iPhone may be among the biggest consumer-electronics releases in history.
The company garnered 43% of its $108.2 billion in sales last year from the iPhone. And since wireless carriers such as AT&T and Verizon subsidize the roughly $620 Apple gets for each iPhone sale, the device accounts for about 70 percent of its profits, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
Apple's new iPhone could contribute as much as a half a percentage point to U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter, according to analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
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