Analyst: iPhone 6 in September, Followed by Large iPad and iWatch
Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Caso adjusted his earnings estimates for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming quarters in a recent note to investors based on a revised launch timeline for the next-generation iPhone. Caso previously thought that Apple might launch the so-called “iPhone 6” as early as this summer, but based on his recent supply chain checks, the analyst now believes that Apple will follow the typical iPhone refresh cycle with a launch in the fall. Like many other analysts, Caso also believes that Apple is preparing to launch two iPhone models with different screen sizes.
“We expect that a smaller screen version of iPhone 6 will commence production in July, with a larger version beginning production in August,” wrote Caso in a note obtained by Barron’s. “While we think the phone launch timing will be similar to last year, based on initial production forecasts, we think there is likely to be more volume available at launch as compared to last year.”
Based on his revised iPhone 6 launch timeline, Caso cut his estimates for the second and third quarters. “Note that our estimates had previously been more aggressive, and had assumed that AAPL would be able to ship some iPhone 6 volume in July,” wrote Caso in a research note seen by Barron’s. “For 2Q, our revised estimates reflect sales of 30 mln iPhones, down from 32.6 mln previously, and slightly lower iPad units (18 mln vs. 20 mln previously). For 3Q, we expect 37 mln iPhone units, which anticipates a very strong launch with more volume available vs. last year.”
Caso’s supply chain checks also indicated that Apple is developing the long-rumored iWatch, as well as a large-format iPad. “[W]e have finally noted two new products on the production schedule, including a watch as well as a 12” tablet that contains a keyboard,” wrote the Susquehanna analyst. Caso introduced estimates for fiscal year 2015 based on a potential iPad Pro and iWatch launch in the December quarter of 2014.