Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5S is selling far better than the iPhone 5C. It’s a recurring theme among analysts and news outlets, with some citing supply chain checks and other citing their own propriety survey. Nonetheless, if the iPhone 5S really is outselling the iPhone 5C by as much as some report, this could provide upside for Apple’s September quarter results.
New survey shows iPhone 5S outselling 5C by 2.5
Earlier surveys suggested that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5S was outselling the 5C by about 2 to one, but Canaccord Genuity’s latest survey suggests that the 5S is even more popular than the 5C. T. Michael Walkley, Matthew D. Ramsay and Siddharth Sinha issued a research note with their latest findings. Their survey indicates that the 5S is outselling the 5C by about 2.5 to one.
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After receiving the results of their survey, the analysts adjusted their iPhone sales mix assumptions. They’re estimating that Apple will sell 52.5 million units during the December quarter. They’re expecting the company to sell 44.6 million iPhones during the March quarter, which is a 19 percent increase year over year. Their average selling price estimate for the iPhone during the December quarter is $632, which is above consensus, and they say it could even be conservative. However, they estimate that the average selling price will fall off sharply to $610 in the March quarter and then $549 in the June quarter. They believe that this will be driven by a shift away from the iPhone 5S and over to the iPhone 5C.
The analysts also suggest that we will see the iPhone 6 earlier next year than we saw the iPhone 5S and 5C this year.
Apple may announce China Mobile deal soon
The Canaccord Genuity analysts say they’re expecting Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to announce a deal with China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:941) by the end of the year. They’re predicting that the world’s largest carrier will sell more than 10 million units during the March quarter around Chinese New Year. This could somewhat offset seasonality in the Western market.
Apple’s new iPads coming soon
The analysts agree with most people that new iPads will be revealed at Apple’s Oct. 22 event, and they’re expecting that the iPad 5 in particular will be fully redesigned. As a result, they believe the iPad mix will shift toward the larger size iPad 5 rather than the iPad Mini with this product refresh cycle. The analysts also said their “conversations with upstream suppliers indicate a much higher than anticipated mix of fully redesigned iPad 5 versus iPad Mini for the holiday quarter.”
They adjusted their iPad unit and average selling prices and now expect 12.9 million iPad 5s and 11.5 million iPad Minis to be sold during the December quarter. By the March quarter, the analysts believe the trend will reverse, and they’re now expecting Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to sell 8.4 million iPad 5s and 14.4 million iPad Minis during the March quarter. They suggest that the launch of a new iPad Mini with Retina display, as well as greater demand from international markets—especially in China around Chinese New Year—will drive this reverse.
Apple price target raised
The Canaccord Genuity analysts have increased their fiscal earnings per share estimate for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) slightly from $39.29 to $39.30 per share. They also adjusted their fiscal 2014 estimate from $46.67 to $46.60 per share. In addition, they introduced their estimates for 2015, projecting sales of $205.8 billion and earnings per share of $50.54 per share.
They reiterated their Buy rating on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and raised their price target for the stock from $560 to $580 per share. Their estimates remain above consensus because they see higher average selling prices for the iPhone and a stronger March quarter because of a TD-LTE launch at China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:941). They also see “more aggressive pricing” for the iPhone 5C as driving a stronger March quarter, along with an earlier launch of the iPhone 6. They also see upside for blended gross margins.