Apple is looking at a big fall season this year. The next generation of its flagship line, the iPhone 6, is rumored to be released in September, or possibly August if a report by Taiwan’s Economic Daily News is to be believed. The iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 2 with Retina are both looking at a fall launch as well. The “new product category” that CEO Tim Cook has been touting recently is most likely iWatch, set to come out in August, according to KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo. With all of these launch dates coming up in the next few months, Morgan Stanley Analyst Katy Huberty believes that Apple will have a better Q4 than 2013.
Huberty recently took a trip to Asia (via AppleInsider), specifically to visit component suppliers, who shared their expectations for the fall product launches. The component suppliers told her they expect to see a 20 percent growth in iPhone sales, year-over-year. According to Huberty, based on the supply numbers, she sees no problems for Apple meeting component demands for the iPhone 6. Huberty released her speculation in a note to individual investors, Monday.
"We don't detect any abnormal component pricing pressure from Apple, suggesting lower inventory, deprecation and warranty costs along with the potential for a modest price increase and/or NAND mix change may help digest the higher (bill of materials)," she wrote.
While Huberty expects the iPhone 6 to do well, with sales bolstered by the larger screen, she sees iPad sales declining 1 percent year over year in the fall. While this is not a sharp drop, it does suggest that consumers are more interested in the lower-priced tablet market, rather than the premium iPad lines. Huberty believes the decline will last through the middle of next year.
When it comes to the fabled iWatch, Huberty thinks Apple has a hit on its hands. She stated that although many suppliers are skeptical about the wearable market, the iWatch could counter the short sales of the iPad, providing an uptick in numbers through 2015. She predicts that if the iWatch does launch as is speculated, the iOS wearable may outsell the iPad in Apple’s first quarter.
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