Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will release its next earnings report tonight, and analysts are already looking forward to the iPhone 6 launch. It is generally expected to be held in September, which would mean that Apple would include some sales for the handset in the September quarter.
When will Apple launch the iPhone 6?
Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray suggests that Apple will launch the iPhone 6 in mid- to late-September. He notes that this timing would suggest between five and 12 days of sales before the quarter ends on Sept. 27. He said that this could add about 3 million to 4 million iPhones to Apple’s unit volume or approximately $2 billion to its sales.
Based on these assumptions, the analyst is predicting that Apple will guide for between $39 billion and $41 billion in sales for the September quarter. He said in terms of tonight’s earnings report, the biggest risk he sees is disappointment in Apple’s guidance. However, Munster and other analysts have said that investors probably won’t care about a disappointment this time around because they have such high expectations for the iPhone 6 and other upcoming Apple products.
What about the June quarter?
For the June quarter, he’s predicting sales of between 35 million and 36 million iPhones overall. That would be a 14% increase year over year, which would be remarkable because usually the June quarter is weak as consumers wait for the next iPhone. Most analysts agree though that June quarter iPhone sales might not be as bad as previous years because of all the new carriers Apple has added in the last year.
Will Apple launch the iPhone 6 earlier?
Of course if Apple decides to push the iPhone 6 out early, possibly toward the beginning of September, then it could guide for quite a bit above $41 billion. Another possibility is that Apple could be planning to launch another new product, perhaps the rumored iWatch. And then if Apple guides for quite a bit under $39 billion, then it could be expecting to launch the iPhone 6 and / or any other new products in October, thus pushing sales out to the December quarter.