Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to dominate the smartphones sales charts in the U.S. with its new iPhone 5 device. The tech giant started slowly on iPhone 5 sales during the earlier period of Q4 due to supply constraints, but now seems to have recovered from that quandary. The demand for the device is also overwhelming, well above competitors Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc (NYSE:MMI), Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK), Research In Motion Limited (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)’s BlackBerry, and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94)’s Galaxy smartphones sales in the U.S. Despite its recent decline in stock price, Apple remains to be a lucrative investment in the technology industry.
In a report published Sunday, Canaccord Genuity noted, “our November checks indicated very strong sales of the top-selling iPhone 5 at AT&T/Verizon/Sprint. Our checks also indicated substantially improved iPhone supply, with essentially all stores offering all SKUs of the iPhone 5”.
The analysts expect Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to report 47.5 million units of iPhone sales in Q4, which is a slight revision from their previous estimate of 45 million units. Consequently, the analysts reduced their March quarter estimates from 47.5 million to about 46 million units of iPhone sales, resulting in a net increase of one million units of iPhone sales for the two quarters. The analysts attributed their recent changes to the fact that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) expects to launch the new iPhone 5 in 100 countries, and across 240 carriers across the world by the end of this year.
The analysts also noted that the launch would include China, scheduled for December 14, resulting in an increase in Q4 sales, but reducing unit sales for the March quarter. Initially, analysts had predicted that iPhone 5 would not launch in China until early next year due to stringent government conditions on carrier networks, especially China Mobile, which is state controlled.
In the report, the analysts wrote, “given our estimate for a 77 percent sequential unit increase in iPhone sales, which represents Apple’s highest-margin hardware product line, we believe Apple’s December quarter gross margin guidance of 36 percent could prove conservative, and we are modeling 38.7 percent”.
The analysts also predict a strong demand for the company’s iPhone 4/4S, as well as strong sales statistics for iPads and the iPad mini, noting, “our checks indicated strong sales of legacy iPhone 4/4S models, with the iPhone 4 sold out at many stores and strong Black Friday iPad and iPad mini sales”.
The analysts reiterated their Buy rating on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with a price target of $800, noting, “we believe Apple’s industry-leading software ecosystem with over 200M devices already on iOS 6 and its leading hardware expertise will lead to a strong multi-year product cycle for its key products. We believe Apple is well positioned for very strong F2013/14 sales and earnings growth driven by new product introductions, including the recently launched iPhone 5, iPad Mini, recently refreshed iPad, MacBook, and iMac lineup”.
At the time of this writing, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock was trading at $590.56 per share, up $5.28, or 0.90 percent increase from yesterday’s close.