A delay in the release of the iPhone 5 has at least one analyst cutting his price target for Apple.
Oppenheimer Equity Research managing director of wireless technology research Ittai Kidron lowered his price target for Apple from $450 to $420. He also explained why the company's stock has taken a bit of a tumble over the past month, going from a high of approximately $350 per share on June 1st to $325.30 presently.
We've been modeling a full month of new iPhone sales in September and now believe it's more prudent to model a late-September [or early] October launch, Kidron said in a note to investors. This suggests possible modest [quarter over quarter] growth trends in September and not the strong growth we previously modeled.
Kidron reduced the amount of iPhones he thought would be sold in the September quarter from 20.5 million to 19 million. While this is still a lot and Apple is still expected to grow in Kidron's eyes, the company's luster is not completely spotless.
For the first time in a while, Apple did not introduce a new iPhone at its annual Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) this year. Analysts say what may happen is an iPhone 4S will be released in the fall with minor changes to the iPhone 4. Then at next year's WWDC, Apple will release the much anticipated iPhone 5.
Another iPhone rumor is the likely release of a cheaper iPhone. The phone manufacturer, analysts say, could release a $300 iPhone (even less with phone carrier subsidies) to make an attempt at the mid-range market. Currently, iPhones are high-end phones and this has allowed Google's Android to surpass iOS in terms of smartphone operating share.
Simply put, US$600 iPhone expansion opportunities are good, but the opportunities are much greater with a complimentary mini-iPhone [priced around] US$300, Kidron said. We believe this price-point can be met, allowing Apple to attack the midrange and extend its emerging/prepaid market reach.
Another analyst, Charlie Wolf from Needham & Co., is confident iOS and Apple will catch up and surpass Google's Android. Research firm IDC noted Android actually lost shares in the first quarter of this year from the previous quarter, going from 52.4 percent of the smartphone market to 49.5 percent.
In our opinion, this is just the beginning of Android's share loss in the US. The migration of subscribers to the iPhone on the Verizon network should accelerate this fall when Apple coordinates the launch of iPhone 5 on the GSM and CDMA networks. The iPhone could also launch on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks, Wolf said in a note.