The launch of the iPhone 4 June 24 is expected to give Apple a strong kick to its June quarter, according to analysts.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster raised his price target on Apple to $348 from $330 based on iPhone 4. In a research note, Munster wrote:
We are now modeling for 9.5m iPhone units in the launch quarter (up from 8.5m previously) adding $610m (4%) in revenue and $0.12 to our June quarter EPS estimate. Apple sold 1m iPhone 3GS models in 3 days, so with 6 days of sales of the iPhone 4 in the June quarter, we believe the additional 1m units is achievable. We are also raising our September iPhone estimates from 9.0m to 9.5m.
The big question is whether Munster's new target is conservative. Many analysts are expecting a strong iPhone upgrade cycle. The iPhone 4 may sell more than 1 million units in 2 days. It should top the iPhone 3GS debut.
Indeed, AT&T's move to allow iPhone users to upgrade earlier should goose results. Munster added:
AT&T has pulled forward existing iPhone users' eligibility for upgrade pricing by up to 6 months. In other words, all early iPhone 3GS buyers will be eligible for upgrade pricing on the iPhone 4, but last year early iPhone 3G buyers were not eligible for the iPhone 3GS upgrade pricing. Specifically, we believe that the 8.4m iPhone users activated at AT&T between the Sept-08 and Jun-09 quarters will be eligible for upgrade pricing.
Other analysts like Barclays Capital's Ben Reitzes are also projecting an iPhone 4 pop. "We believe demand for the iPhone will be driven by enhanced features including a thinner design, a higher resolution display, new video chat capabilities and new iOS 4 software that allows for multitasking," said Reitzes.
In July, Apple is expected to report fiscal third quarter earnings of $2.98 a share on revenue of $14.3 billion.
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