After Apple's record setting launch, analysts predict iPhone 6 will win over Android switchersEven without launching in China, Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus got off to a record start with 10 million units sold in three days, and analysts on Wall Street reacted Monday with enthusiasm, expressing their high hopes for this year's upgrade cycle.
Following Apple's announcement of opening weekend sales, Michael Walkley of Canaccord Genuity increased his price target on Apple stock from $112 to $115. His team conducted surveys in August and earlier this month that found the iPhone 5s remained a top selling smartphone even as hype began to build for the iPhone 6.
With the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus boasting the biggest-ever screens on Apple's smartphone lineup, Walkley believes Samsung will hurt the most from this year's refresh. He noted that initial surveys indicate a greater number of Android smartphone owners are switching to the iPhone than in previous years.
Timothy Arcuri of Cowen & Company also believes that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will target high-end Android switchers.
In addition, he noted that this weekend's record setting launch did not include China, while last year's debut of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c did. There's no word yet on when the iPhone 6 lineup might debut in China, though Arcuri believes Apple "is working feverishly" to resolve the apparent regulatory issues preventing the launch.
Many on Wall Street expect the new iPhone lineup, including greater storage capacities and the $100 premium cost of the iPhone 6 Plus, will drive average selling prices higher. Among those is Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, who said he believes the average selling price could spike from $630 to $695 this holiday season.
He believes this could also help margins in the December quarter reach above 38 percent, while most current estimates on Wall Street have margins pegged at just under that number.
If launch sales for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the same percentage of total sales that the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c represented for the September quarter last year, it would mean sales of around 37.5 million units for this quarter, analyst Maynard Um of Wells Fargo Securities said.
Um also believes that Apple was better prepared for this year's launch with iPhone 6 inventory, as the phone did not sell out as fast as last year's iPhone 5s launch. The iPhone 6 Plus, however, has been constrained, and is currently estimated to ship from Apple's online store in three to four weeks.
Looking forward to the December quarter, analysts generally expect Apple to sell a record 60 million units in the three-month holiday period.