Apple’s big iPhone 5 announcement/event took place today. All the sell-side analysts are out with reports. Most analysts seem to not be surprised by any of the news which came out. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffary is probably the most famous Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sell-side analyst. Munster maintains his buy target of $910 a share. Shares of Apple today closed up 1.39% to $669.79 a share. Below are some of Gene Munster’s comments summarized.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) officially announced the iPhone 5 today and they believe the phone will meet or exceed consumer expectations. The redesigned phone gives Piper a great feeling that Apple will sell 6-10 million iPhone 5s by the end of September and Piper are increasing their September quarter iPhone unit estimate to 27.2 million from 22 million to reflect this confidence. In terms of the stock, historically Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has traded down following product announcements.
• iPhone 5 Features As Expected, Fills Bill Of Largest Consumer Product Launch In History. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced the iPhone 5 today including a 4″ screen, LTE, and redesigned aluminium/glass casing. Piper believes that the phone itself was largely in-line with investor and consumer expectations given various photos of the phone from blogs. The new phone launches September 21st, also as widely expected.
• Gene Munster is raising his September iPhone estimates from 22 million to 27.2 million units given the confirmation of the iPhone 5 launch on September 21. As previously noted, he believes that Apple could sell between 6-10 million iPhone 5s by the end of September. Munster notes the company sold 4 million iPhone 4GS’s in its three day launch weekend last year. The net result to Piper’s September estimates are that revenue increases by 9%. He believes the Street was also expecting around 22-23 million iPhones, thus consensus will likely have to come up for September. While Munster previously expected December units to shift to September for a September launch, Piper is maintaining Piper’s 49 million December estimates as they believe Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) can still deliver on the 32% y/y growth that number assumes. They believe that there is a good chance the iPhone 5 launches in China by December.
• Piper stands by the themes they highlighted last month as reasons to remain excited about Apple beyond the iPhone 5: 1. They expect an existing iPhone to reach $200 (unsubsidized) compared to $375 today. This should accelerate share gain in emerging markets and increase investor confidence in the sustainably of Apple’s overall growth. 2. Upside to iPad driven by 7-8″ inch form factor likely launched late in CY12. 3. The launch of an Apple Television. Despite all the talk, investors will believe it when they see it. The most immediate of the upcoming items for which to be excited is the smaller iPad, which Munster expects is likely to occur in the first half of October and available for the holiday quarter.
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