Over the last few months, the tech world has been busy speculating about the possible new features that Apple’s next-generation iPhone, aka the “iPhone 5,” could finally bring. The only question that remained was — When will the smartphone be launched? Different reports surfaced with different time frames for the highly anticipated release, but without any specific date.
It wasn’t until earlier this week when iMore came up with a report in which it said that Apple planned to start taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5, “at least in the U.S.,” beginning Sept. 12, with the actual release tipped for the following Friday, Sept. 21. Many reports followed thereafter, lending credence to that information.
So, now we have a solid date to mark on our calendars and wait for the Cupertino tech giant to make its biggest unveiling of the year. Bit’s not simply going to be a grand unveiling, if Jefferies analyst Peter Misek is to be believed, it will be the “biggest handset launch in history.
Misek wrote in an Aug. 17 research note that 170 million global smartphone subscribers will be coming out of their contracts in the second half of 2012, and another 440 million will be contract-free in 2013. In addition, roughly 30 million iPhone subscribers will complete their contracts in the second half of this year while about 85 million subscribers will do the same next year.
“We therefore see significant and very fertile ground for the iPhone 5′s success,” Misek wrote.
In recent reports, high customer anticipation for iPhone 5 had been held responsible for a quarter-to-quarter drop in iPhone sales at Verizon Wireless and AT&T during the second quarter. The same was also partly blamed for Apple’s recent quarterly earnings, which didn’t meet Wall Street expectations — something that had happened only twice in the last 39 quarters, eWeek reported.
Misek believed that the new iPhone would instigate a significant situation change. According to him, Apple would have approximately 15 million iPhone 5 handsets in inventory by mid-September. He reiterated the same Sept. 12 release date for the iPhone 5 and said that the launch could possibly see the announcement of the long-rumored iPad mini, a device that could “unlock demand in Asia,” where businesses and consumers prefer a smaller form factor at a cheaper price.
Misek’s note also gave some insight into the state of the so-called Apple “iTV.” He said that the device could be launched in the fourth quarter, along with the iPad mini.
“While we think an iTV will be ready for a [fourth-quarter] launch, we do not know how many major product announcements Apple would want to cram into Sept./Oct./Nov. and see a [first-quarter 2013] launch as possible,” he wrote.
According to PCMag, Apple might consider to wait until the first quarter of next year to launch the iTV.
iPhone 5 Obsession Leads Apple Stock To Record High
Apple’s shares plunged after its third-quarter earnings “disappointed” Wall Street projections for the quarter. But now, less than a month later, the shares are up over 12 percent and are trading is at a record high.
On Friday, Apple’s shares closed at $648.11, up nearly 1.9 percent. Shares are up more than 22 percent since May when iPhone 5 rumors got momentum. Jefferies & Co. also raised its price target from $800 to $900, as Apple’s valuation now tops $600 billion, CNET has reported.
The previous high for Apple, the world’s most valuable company, with a market cap of $607.54 billion, was $644, which was reached in April, the Los Angeles Times reported.