As the launch date of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5 approaches (probably tomorrow), the speculation about how many units will be sold multiplies. Famous Apple-watcher Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray says 10 million by the end of September. Dozens of other Wall St. analysts have their own guesses, which are mostly less than Munster’s.
One of the unanswered questions is the extent to which 4G-enabled smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S III, which have been in the market for months, have satisfied the appetites of people who want handsets that work on superfast wireless networks.
One thing almost every observer believes is that iPhone 5 unit sales will be essential to unprecedented revenue for Apple’s final quarter of the calendar year, and to its stock price, which sits just short of $700 a share. There are plenty of people who believe that breakout sales of the iPhone 5 will take Apple’s stock to $1,000.
Douglas A. McIntyre