Analyst: New iPhones Coming, Maybe an iWatch, too

| Apple Stock Watch

With Apple's September 9 media event only days away, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says two iPhone models are coming with NFC support and a digital payment system may be announced, but he puts the odds on an iWatch announcement at 50 percent. He also expects first weekend iPhone 6 sales will be strong, but won't beat last year's 9 million unit iPhone launch.

Analyst says iWatch may not be part of Apple's September 9 announcementsAnalyst says iWatch may not be part of Apple's September 9 announcements

In a note to investors, Mr. Munster said the timing for next week's hardware announcements was set based on the payment feature that will be announced. Mr. Munster stopped short of calling it a full-on payment platform, but did say the iPhone is at the heart of whatever the electronic payment scheme will be.

Mr. Munster said,

We believe the iPhone will be the driver behind Apple’s payments platform, not the iWatch, thus we view it as unlikely that they would announce payments with the iWatch instead of the iPhone.

His iPhone predictions have Apple introducing the iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch display and the iPhone 6L with a 5.5-inch display. Both will include a more powerful Apple-designed A8 processor, more RAM, a better camera, and better battery life, too. The rumored sapphire display will be limited to only the top-of-the-line iPhone 6L.

Mr. Munster said there's a 70 percent chance Apple will announce a payment feature at the media event, but isn't expecting a payment platform. The new iPhones will also include a Near Field Communications chip (NFC), too, which may tie into the payment features.

First weekend sales will hit 6.5 million, according to Mr. Munster's expectations, and that the sapphire display model will account for 30 percent of those iPhone sales. He added that first weekend sales figures could hit 14 million if Apple fills the sales channel with devices ahead of the official launch.

His expectations for the iWatch, or another wearables announcement, aren't so high, which goes against reports that Apple does have an announcement ready to go. The general consensus is that Apple will unveil its wearable tech next week, but it won't be available for purchase until 2015.

Mr. Munster is raising his target price for Apple's stock from US$105 up to $120. Apple is currently trading at $103.50, up 1.00 (0.98%).

[Thanks to Fortune for the heads up]

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Comments

mrmwebmax

+

I find it hard to believe iPhone 6 first weekend sales won’t top 5s and 5c sales. Assuming the 4.7 and 5.5 rumors are true, this will be the most significant form-factor change in the iPhone’s history. I’ve also seen articles showing that one of the largest installed bases (for iPhone) ever is ready for this upgrade cycle.

I predict opening weekend sales will easily top 10 million units.

Lee Dronick

I’ve also seen articles showing that one of the largest installed bases (for iPhone) ever is ready for this upgrade cycle.

That sounds like my wife and I who are currently using iPhone 4S and will probably upgrade to the iPhone 6, or whatever it is called.

mrmwebmax

+

@Lee:

That sounds like my wife and I who are currently using iPhone 4S and will probably upgrade to the iPhone 6, or whatever it is called.

I found an article from May that shows you and your wife are not alone by any means. The bulk of iPhone users are still on the 4 and 4S:

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-iPhone-install-base-is-still-heavy-on-the-iPhone-44S-giving-prospects-for-massive-upgrades-ahead_id55774

This is why many analysts think the 6 will sell better than any previous iPhone model, and I agree. That’s tens of millions of people now two to three handset generations behind, just when Apple is going to announce a huge form-factor change. I don’t see a shortfall in sales, but rather the ultimate test of how well Tim Cook can manage the supply chain.

skipaq

There likely will plenty of switchers if the screen size really is much of a factor. My wife has a 5s and won’t upgrade. I have a 5 and it is already under agreement to sell. I am planing on upgrading to the smaller version of the 6.

CudaBoy

go to redmondpie for the best video leaked yet of the iPhone 6. The concave Apple logo looks trick. It should sell a ton but if people think it has a solid sapphire screen - nope. But, Apple finally did copy Samsung and the others that have NFC so that can only help sales, too. Sensors, sensors, sensors - find the companies that make them and invest in them.

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