Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could release both a low-cost iPhone and a refreshed iPhone in the third quarter of this year, according to analysts at RBC Capital Markets.
In a report issued to investors this morning, the analysts said their checks of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s supply chain indicate that the tech giant could be preparing to launch more than one new handset in June or July. Their time frame is just a little bit ahead of the expectations of analysts at Canaccord Genuity and Topeka Capital, who have pushed their expectations for the launch of the iPhone 5S back to August.
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RBC Capital analysts believe that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s low-cost iPhone will continue to have the same 4-inch size as the iPhone 5, although they expect it to lack the retina display and to have a less expensive plastic case. In their estimates, a low-cost iPhone could bring in $22 billion in revenue and $5 earnings per share in the 2014 calendar year, even though it will likely have a lower gross margin than the iPhone 5S. The analysts said this would suggest that the low-cost iPhone is worth at least $50 per share to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock price.
Like most other analysts, RBC Capital analysts believe that the release of a low-cost iPhone will make it possible for Apple to address the growing lower end of the smartphone market. They consider this to be about a 500 million “total addressable market” in the 2014 calendar year. They also believe Apple would be able to grab at least 15 percent of the low-end smartphone market “in the medium term.”
In addition to the low-cost iPhone and the iPhone 5S, they also expect a refresh of the iPad Mini and the 10-inch iPad, possibly sometime in September or October. In the long-term, they expect an iTV and an iWatch, although they are unsure of the timing of those products.
RBC Capital analysts have left their estimates unchanged. They’ve rated shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as Outperform and set their price target at $600 per share. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares rose less than 1 percent in Friday morning trades.