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Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty is impressed with data from an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) supplier and distribution partner and expects the company to sell a record-breaking 50 million iPhones in the December quarter. In the current quarter, which concludes this week, Huberty predicts unit sales of 25 million. However, even those bullish numbers may prove conservative, Huberty said, as Apple could see “significant upside if component constraints improve.”
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The analyst maintains her “overweight” rating for the company’s stock as well as its price target of $720. Morgan Stanley does have a “bull case” scenario of a $960 price target on Apple stock, and Huberty said in her note that if the early success of the iPhone 5 carried into the coming year, that number may become more real.
Currently, Huberty expects China to provide a big spark for the iPhone 5, especially if the device reaches China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) by December and China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) in the first quarter of calendar 2013. The analyst also predicts that Apple will reach a partnership with China Mobile (NYSE:CHL), the largest carrier in the world, by the second half of 2013.
Huberty adds that the rumored launch of the iPad Mini will bring down the average selling price of Apple’s tablet lineup to $483 in the December quarter and $468 in calendar year 2013. She expects the smaller iPad to account for between 35 percent and 40 percent of total iPad shipments, Apple Insider reported.
“While shipments should improve once the iPad Mini launches, we lower our near-term iPad shipments to consider the impact of the upcoming launch and potential wallet share shift to iPhone,” Huberty said.
Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed lower 1.33% at $690.79 on Monday.
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