Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has finally released what is likely the most telegraphed (and perhaps most obvious) product launch ever. The iPhone 5 is finally here. Apple’s online store said for most of the day ” We’ll be back… We’re busy updating the Apple store for you and will be back soon.”
The highly awaited and highly anticipated launch is the formal iPhone 5. Last year’s iPhone 4s was what many were hoping would be the Apple iPhone 5. Today’s release puts the future of Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM), Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) for Android, and even some of Samsung’s sales all hanging in the balance.
This week we saw that Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray said he expects to see 10 million iPhone 5 sales to take place in the first three weeks. This is important because that means that the bulk of those sales will get crammed into the revenues for the September year-end quarter after the July earnings report was light due to iPhone customers delaying or pushing out their new purchase for the new launch.
Apple now distributes the iPhone via Sprint Nextel Corp (NYSE: S) as the most recent major carrier, and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was the first carrier to get to break the AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) exclusivity period. Bloomberg sees 48 million sales from now until the end of 2012.
Here are the product details (updated as information comes out):
A larger four-inch screen, the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, a fifth row of icons, retina display… all being released at the three major carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint) in the U.S., LTE 4G Wireless… FYI at 1:24 EST the Apple iPhone tab at Apple.com still shows the iPhone 4S and the online store is still being updated… an upgraded A6 chip with CPU twice as fast… longer battery life than the 4S, a smaller 8 megapixel camera… improved speaker and earpiece… iPhone 5 will run on IOS 6… New connector is smaller (gee, so you get to buy new accessories all over again or you can add on a conversion plug)… FYI at 1:42 EST the Apple iPhone tab at Apple.com still shows the iPhone 4S and the online store is still being updated…
at 1:45 PM EST on Bloomberg TV analyst Peter Misek at Jefferies was on a phone interview and reiterated his $900 price target for Apple shares.
MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW
JON C. OGG