By Anu Passary | Sep 15, 2012 01:55 PM EDT
Pre-orders for Apple's next-generation smartphone, the iPhone 5, begin on Sept. 14. After the unveiling on Sept.12, experts and analysts are divided over their first impressions of the iPhone5. However, Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu revised the shipping estimates for Apple's iPhone portfolio sales in anticipation of higher consumer demand.
"We are raising our September quarter iPhone forecast to 26 million units (from 23 million)," Wu said. "However, we are raising our December quarter forecast by only 1 million to 46 million (from 45 million) [units] due to supplier checks indicating production constraints on new in-cell touchscreens."
Shaw Wu estimates that Apple will report $36 billion in revenue for the September quarter, up from the previous $34.5 billion projection.
Bill Shope of Goldman Sachs is of the opinion that the iPhone 5 will be "a powerful driver of earnings upside in the December quarter." Shope upped his target price from $790 to $810.
Bernstein Research's Toni Sacconaghi too increased his target price for Apple to $800 from $750. Sacconaghi believes that the iPhone 5 "will have a faster and wider rollout than previous iPhones," which in turn will impact sales dramatically.
Analyst Steven Milunovich of UBS estimates that Apple will ship between 8 million to 10 million iPhone 5's within the first week itself. This period coincides with Apple's fiscal year end. Milunovich opines that Apple will sell 44 million iPhone 5's in the next quarter, down from 48 million, due to the introduction timing.
The analyst, however, expects the iPhone 5 to be a massive consumer success and, therefore, raised his target price for Apple to $780 from $740.
"From an investor's viewpoint, the biggest money to be made was recognizing years ago that an Apple event would become akin to the Oscars in technology," said Milunovich.
Apple's shares set a new record of $685.50 on Thursday, Sept.13., closing at a record high of $682.98. Apple's market capitalization has touched nearly $640 billion for the first time ever, thanks to the surge. By contrast, Exxon Mobil Corp. is worth only $421 billion.
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