After a very short period of malaise, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s share price is once again rising healthily. In fact, over the last 24 hours, Apple stock price has shot up to the highest level for eighteen months; causing analysts and market observers to revise their forecasts regarding the long-term prospects of the company.

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The last few weeks have shown a decidedly upward trend for Apple’s share price.

 

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The price in fact reached a peak of around $645 today, before retracting slightly as trading unfolded.

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Apple iPhone 6 hype pays off

There is one factor driving this sudden surge in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sentiment, and that is the iPhone 6. While previous sales figures of the iPhone 5S have at times underwhelmed the city and investors, it is becoming increasingly clear that the iPhone 6 is set to become a massive smash, as numerous facts and demographics all converge favourably for Apple.

The rumored larger version of the iPhone, which may feature a 5.5-inch screen, has curried particular favor with investors. It is thought that this phablet-sized iPhone could incentivize a lot of existing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) owners to upgrade. And investors know now that Apple attracts a brand loyalty that no other company can match; recent surveys of smartphone owners have proved this emphatically.

Additionally, there are a lot of iPhone users who are now ready for an upgrade owing to the fact that their existing Apple handset is nearing the end of its natural life. According to Business Insider, 80 percent or more of current iPhone users are due for a new phone, and it seems a certainty that many of these will upgrade to a new iPhone 6 when it is released. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is seemingly looking to catch as many of these in its net as possible by producing two models, meaning that those looking for a more affordable upgrade will be catered for as well.

Investment banks upgrade expectations

The investment bank UBS has already predicted that this perfect storm for Apple will create a mass wave of frenzied iPhone buying, with the investment bank opining that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s smartphone sales will increase by over 10 percent this year to 166 million.

Apple’s share price surge has led to the investment bank Goldman Sachs revising its estimated share price for the corporation upwards in the medium-term. Its price target for the company has now been reset at $720, which would represent a brand new high for the company. Previously, Apple’s share price peaked at $702 in September 2012, so should the Goldman Sachs prediction be reached then it would represent a new record for Apple stock.

The success of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reflects a period in which it has reported record iPhone sales, and picked up the huge $3 billion acquisition of Beats. Also on the horizon is Apple’s worldwide developers conference, which will see the company announcing its plans for the remainder of 2014, at least in software terms. New Apple products may also be on the horizon, with the rumors regarding an iWatch persisting in Apple blogs.

With the massive success of the iPhone and iPad, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has already established itself as the world’s biggest consumer electronics brand, and its malaise was only ever likely to be temporary.