Sales of Apple Inc's new iPhone 5 may be double those of the previous
model in its first week on the market, and up to 33 million iPhones may
be sold this quarter, brokerage houses forecast on Thursday.
expressed surprise at how quickly Apple planned to roll out the new
model around the world, saying this suggested it would be able to keep
up with demand for a bigger, faster and slimmer iPhone, which goes on
sale this Friday.
Several analysts raised forecasts for Apple's
share price by as much as $60, to between $750 and $820. The stock
closed at $669.79 on Wednesday.
"We are positively surprised that
this iPhone rollout is Apple's fastest yet," Barclays Equity Research
said in a note to clients.
Apple will continue to win sales with older models, brokerage William Blair & Co added.
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 said.
The brokerage raised its
sales forecast for all iPhone models by 29 percent to 33 million for the
July-September quarter, at the top of forecasts that ranged from about
20 million to about 30 million in brokerage notes seen by Reuters.
RBC Capital Markets said it expected Apple to ship 8 million to 10 million of the new models by the end of the month.
brokerage said this could result in additional sales of $4 billion to
$5 billion for the period. It increased its price target for the stock
by $50 to $750.
The iPhone 5 sports a 4-inch "retina" display
screen, can run on high-speed 4G LTE wireless networks and is 20 percent
lighter than the previous iPhone 4S.
It ships on September 21 in
the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan,
Singapore and Britain and will hit 100 countries by the end of the year
in the fastest international rollout for an iPhone so far.
Barclays noted the rapid rollout as it increased its price target for Apple stock to $810 from $750.
W. Baird & Co, which also raised its price target on the stock, now
expects Apple to sell 24.4 million iPhones in the September quarter, up
from its earlier estimate of 21.2 million.
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012
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