Sales of Apple's new iPhone 3GS have been "solid," according to Barclay's Capital analyst Ben Reitzes, who also said he believes demand for Apple's new line of MacBook Pro models is "strong." He characterized the rollout of the iPhone in the U.S. by AT&T and in the UK by O2 as successful, and said his earlier estimated of 6.9 million unit sales for the September quarter could prove "conservative."
The analyst made the comments in a research note obtained by The Mac Observer. In that note he reiterated his "Overweight" rating for the stock (versus a "Neutral" rating for the sector) and maintained his US$173 price target.
"Apple iPhone 3GS sales still look solid now more than two weeks after the initial launch," he wrote. "Our checks indicate that store traffic has remained quite solid and interest in the device remains high, largely due to the new video recording and sharing features."
Based on availability numbers, he said the 16GB model was the most popular, and added that his estimates of 4.6 million units in the June quarter and 6.9 million units for the September quarter could prove to be conservative.
On the iPod front, Mr. Reitzes cited NPD numbers which show iPod unit sales declining 11% year-over-year for the week of 6/27/09. This contrasts with 18% year-over-year gains the week before, and all told for the quarter, Apple is on track for a 15% year-over-year decline, but that compares to a 20% year-over-year decline for the market as a whole.
Shares in Apple traded lower amidst broader market losses on Tuesday. AAPL closed at $135.40 per share, a loss of $3.21 (-2.32%), on moderately light volume.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.