updated 09:00 pm EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
Prediction makes assumptions on launch availability, but based on supplier data
Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets, who currently forecasts sales of 56 million iPhones in the December quarter, has told investors that depending on availability and features, the next generation of iPhones could sell as many as 75 million units in the final quarter of the year, which would be an all-time record for any manufacturer, even Apple itself. By comparison, last year Apple ordered 60 million units ahead of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c debut.
Citing supplier data that suggests Apple has ordered that 80 million units be available across the quarter, he predicts around 10 million units could be sold on the opening weekend alone, reaching up to 15 million by the end of the September quarter. This is based on the assumption that Apple will announce the iPhone 6 on September 9, and start shipping around September 19.
If the supplier report of orders Daryanani is relying on is accurate, his prediction is based on historical patterns. Last year, Apple ordered 60 million units for the December quarter, and sold 51 million of them, plus an unspecified number (but more than nine million) of the then-new iPhones 5s and 5c in September. He is also reporting that his sources specify that both a 5.5-inch and 4.7-inch model of iPhone will be available, though it is unclear if both will debut at the same time.
In any event, Daryanani expects a "notable uptick" in sales from last year, thanks to the larger displays. A recent survey indicated that up to a third of Android owners would consider switching to the iPhone if Apple offered larger sizes, meaning Apple could gain additional sales beyond its own normal turnover and growth if the iPhone size expectations pan out.
The company is expected to also keep at least some of the current four-inch display size models available as well, particularly the iPhone 5c and 5s, which would move down to the low-end and mid-tier offerings if Apple follows its usual pattern. Daryanani and RBC are maintaining an "outperform" rating on AAPL, with a $110 per share price target. Should the company achieve that price, it would be an all-time high for the stock (split-adjusted), even taking into account the increase in the number of shares caused by the June split and the company's buyback and retirement of shares.