Analyst Targets Sept 27 for iPhone 5S Launch

Apple may have tipped its hand during its third fiscal quarter earnings report on Tuesday and hinted at the launch date for the next iPhone model. That date, according to Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um, is September 27.

Mr. Um said,

Apple indicated a new product will launch in the fall (fall is officially September 22 - December 21), which we presume is the new iPhone. If Apple sticks to a Friday launch, it most likely suggests a September 27th launch.

The next iPhone may launch on September 27Apple did say a fall product launch is coming, although there wasn't any word on exactly what to expect. With iOS 7 and OS X mavericks both promising fall releases, it seems likely Apple would roll out new iPhones, and possibly iPads, along with the operating system updates.

Rumors claim the next iPhone model will sport a faster processor and better camera, possibly finger print scanning technology, NFC, the same body -- or possibly a different body -- as the iPhone 5, the same screen, or maybe a bigger screen... in other words, the rumors say the next iPhone will include whatever features people are hoping for.

Along with work that a fall product launch was coming, Apple also reported US$35.3 billion in revenue and earnings at $6.9 billion. iPhone sales beat estimates coming in at 31.2 million units. iPad sales, however, were down year-over-year at 14 million.

iPad sales were down 14 percent year-over-year, but year-to-date sales are currently ahead of last year. Taking channel inventory into account, iPad sales were essentially flat compared to last year.

"Adjusting for channel inventory, [iPad] units were down only 3 percent," Mr. Um said. "We believe U.S. and Europe iPad sales were likely soft given Apple highlighted double-digit growth in China, Japan, Canada, Russia, Latin America, Middle-East and India."

Mr. Um is maintaining his "Outperform" rating and $485-$523 target price for Apple's stock. Apple is currently trading at $443.90, up 24.91 (5.95%).