With the highly rumored September 12 release date of Apple's next gen iPhone, the so-called "iPhone 5," approaching fast, speculations concerning the 2012 version of the flagship smartphone have flooded the Internet over the last few months. Given the enormous buzz among people, it's pretty much sure that the device's sales, no matter how it finally launches - as "iPhone 5" or as the new iPhone, will touch new heights.
FBR Capital's Craig Berger is one of those analysts who strongly believe that the upcoming launch of the sixth generation iPhone will be a big event for the Cupertino tech giant or even could be the most important one in the company's history.
The analyst wrote in a research note, obtained by Forbes, that Apple could sell as many as 250 million iPhone 5 units over its life cycle, generating a profit of more than $50 per share. According to him, the imminent release of the smartphone will be "one of the largest single product opportunities in Apple's history."
Although investors seem to be worried about the impact of the carrier policies that could discourage upgrades and thereby affecting the sales, Berger said this issue would prove to be least effective since "upgrades tend to be driven more by product than by eligibility status and by the potential launch of the new phone with China Mobile early in 2013," Forbes reported.
"Together, we expect the two positive catalysts will help drive one of the largest and balanced product cycles in Apple's history," Berger wrote in his note.
In addition, he said that a successful iPhone 5 launch would benefit chip manufacturers like Qualcomm and Fairchild Semiconductor. He also expected potential benefits for all three carriers that sell the iPhone in the U.S. (AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon) as well.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster also has something similar to say. According to him, if Apple does release the iPhone 5 by September, it could record sale between 6 to 10 million devices in the last 10 days of the month, taking the total number sold devices to 26 to 28 million in its September quarter, ZDNet reported.
"While our model, along with most of the Street, assumes an October launch, we believe that a September launch could result in the final 10 days of the month generating 6-10 million iPhone 5 unit sales, which would likely shift out of December," Munster wrote.
"We believe if iPhone 5 launches in September, Apple could sell 26-28 million units in the quarter (this takes into account iPhone sales slowing dramatically from September 12-20, which is announcement to availability). This would imply 8% upside to the Street's current $35 billion in revenue and 12% upside to EPS of $8.46."
Latest reports suggest that Apple has planned to introduce the new iPhone at a special event Sept. 12, with the actual release tipped for the following Friday, Sept. 21.
The company is also expected to start taking pre-orders of the new iPhone "at least in the US," from Sept. 12, iMore has reported.
The iPhone 5 is highly expected to come with a major design overhaul, sporting a larger 4-inch Retina display and a smaller doc connector, replacing the current 30-pin port.
Rumors also suggest that the handset would run on iOS 6, which would be completely scalable to a larger 640 x 1136 display. The device is also likely to feature a much-improved processor, 4G LTE technology, Near Field Communication (NFC), 1GB RAM, iOS 6, improved Siri, liquidmetal casing, an 8 megapixel (or even higher) rear camera, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting and a much-improved battery life.