With the release of the Apple Inc. iPhone 6 on the horizon, there has been a great deal of speculation about the pricing level at which Apple may choose to release its next flagship smartphone. There have been reports emanating from sources close to the company recently that Apple might have to do inflates the price of the iPhone 6 above its preferred level.
But recent earnings and financial information suggest Apple is going to be in a strong position fiscally to price the iPhone 6 according to its own preference. Apples share price reached a 22 month high on Wednesday, as its shares rose 3.3 percent to $97.88; coming close to touching the magic $100 threshold.
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After disappointing financial results early in the 2014 calendar year, Apple has recovered considerably to post record sales figures and recover almost all of its losses. Over the last three months, Apple stock has performed particularly well, and reaching its all-time record share price is now back in focus for the consumer electronics giant.
The current performance of Apple shares is particularly encouraging for the corporation given that typically iPhone sales slow before the new launch of a new handset, as potential buyers hold off purchases. The iPhone 6 is still strongly mooted to be receiving a September release, although Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to remain resolutely silent on the subject of its next flagship smartphone.
Apple phablet received enthusiastically
Analysts have responded favorably to Apple’s apparent short to medium-term plans, though. Evercore Group consider the launch of a phablet sized iPhone 6, along with a very strongly rumored smartwatch from the company – almost certain to be called iWatch – to offer very strong market performance in the immediate future. Furthermore, with margins stabiliing and trends related to Apple’s call demands looking pretty solid, it seems certain that investors will remain positive about Apple stock for quite some time to come.
According to Thomson Reuters, analysts are already estimating that Apple’s forecast relating to quarterly revenue is if anything a little on the low side. While Apple forecast revenue for the current quarter as being somewhere between $37 and $40 billion, the average estimate of analysts came in at $40.44 billion.
Aside from the launch of the iPhone 6, and the encouraging financial data related to Apple, the electronics manufacturer has also been busying itself in a variety of other areas. Apple launched iPhone on China Mobile’s network in January, which subsequently boosted its June quarter revenue by 28 percent in greater China. It is indicative of the success that apple is beginning to experience in Asia that it was reported today that the knock-on effect of the iPhone 6 is helping boost Asian economies by as much as 8.6 percent, in countries such as Taiwan.
Additionally, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has also recently announced a partnership with IBM, which will enable it to sell iPhones and iPads armed with applications specifically targeted at enterprise clients. This is intended to target a corporate market seen as being largely untapped.
Nonetheless, the iPhone 6 remains absolutely central to Apple’s immediate prospects, and if its recent resurgence is to continue then the city will want to see evidence of very strong sales figures straight out of the gate. Although the iWatch could be an important companion device for the iPhone 6, analysts from Macquarie Capital have opined that supply off the smartwatch is likely to be minimal initially.
‘Large’ iPhone to be delayed
What can be deduced from the latest gossip about Apple is that the corporation is highly likely to release two versions of the iPhone 6. It seems to be a virtual consensus among market analysts that Apple will release a larger version of the iPhone 6 with a 5.5-inch screen, and a more affordable version that will feature a 4.7-inch display. But those waiting to own their first Apple phablet might have to wait a little longer than they were bargaining for. It is now thought by most market observers that Apple will delay the release of its 5.5-inch iPhone 6 until November.
However, it is quite clear that market observers are pretty positive about the immediate prospects of Apple. When 53 analysts covering the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock where surveyed recently, 43 had a “buy” or higher rating, 9 had a “hold” and just one had a “sell” rating, according to data released by the StarMine organisation.
Sales prospects for the iPhone 6 look to be extremely strong, with Evercore predicting that 37 million iPhones will be sold during the September quarter, with demand intensifying due to the release of the larger version in the December quarter. Evercore observers expect Apple to shift as many as 62 million iPhone 6 units during the December quarter.
Thus, although Apple’s share price is up 55% in the last 12 months, its rise maybe far from over.