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Apple's iPhone 9 Launch Could Be Imminent

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Apple's iPhone 9 Launch Could Be Imminent

Rumors regarding an imminent launch by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) of a new budget iPhone are gaining momentum after China's JD.com Inc (NASDAQ: JD) made available a placeholder page listing an iPhone 9.

Mid-April Launch For iPhone 9? 

JD.com has not divulged any details regarding the iPhone 9. The listing of the product under the iPhone 9 moniker could rule out the possibility of Apple going with the SE naming scheme.

Incidentally, 9to5Mac reported last week it learned that Apple is planning to accept orders for the new iPhone — which it referenced using two names, the iPhone SE and iPhone 9. The publication cited "a tip from a highly trusted reader." 

The iPhone 9/SE2 is likely to be launched in the next few weeks, a delay from the original schedule of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues throughout Asia, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said in a Monday note, citing supply chain and various retail websites. 

The iPhone 9 launch was referenced by YouTuber Jon Posser in a late March tweet, citing an internal meeting at Apple.

Posser suggested a launch date of April 15, with shipments likely to begin April 22.

Potential iPhone 9 Specs, Pricing

The new model is expected touse the same chip as the iPhone series, an A 13 processo, and would come with three color options, according to the 9to5Mac report: white, black and red.

The new budget model is likely to be priced at $349, 9to5Mac said, citing supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

The next iPhone 9/SE2 is expected to have a 4.7-inch screen, Touch ID home button, A13 Bionic chipset, a single 12MP camera on the rear and a starting retail price of $399, Wedbush analyst Ives said.

"There also could be a 5.5-inch 'Plus' version associated with this iPhone launch," the analyst said. 

Low-Volume, Low-Touch Release?

Given that Apple is working on a 5G phone, it is slightly confounding why Apple would plan a low-priced model at this time of uncertainty.

"While launching a mid-cycle budget/entry-level smartphone into the backdrop of a consumer global lockdown and unprecedented pandemic will be head scratcher to some, we note that Apple is viewing this as a low volume, low touch release with little fanfare as the phones are already ready to ship," Ives said. 

Based on underlying demand and the prior SE cycle, Ives said he expects shipments of 20 million to 25 million iPhone 9/SE2 units in the first six to nine months.

Wedbush expects Apple to launch the 5G smartphone in December. The firm has an Outperform rating on Apple with a $335 price target. 

AAPL Price Action

Apple shares were adding 5.21% to trade at $253.98 at the time of publication Monday. 

Related Links:

Apple Analyst Projects 'Multi-Quarter Impact' On iPhone Shipments From COVID-19 Pandemic

Apple Hit With $1.2B Fine By French Antitrust Authorities

Photo courtesy of Apple. 

Latest Ratings for AAPL

DateFirmActionFromTo
May 2020B of A SecuritiesMaintainsBuy
May 2020Deutsche BankMaintainsBuy
May 2020WedbushMaintainsOutperform

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