Redesigned iPhone 5, expanded iPad lineup anticipated from Apple in 2012
Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray said in a note to investors on Wednesday that because Apple did not redesign any major hardware products in 2011, he believes significant changes could arrive in 2012. Chief among those would be a redesigned "iPhone 5," which he predicts will debut in mid-2012.
The launch of a so-called "iPhone 5" in 2012 would set the stage for outperformance in 2013, in Munster's eyes. He offered two scenarios for Apple's products in 2013: a "base case" and a "bull case."
In his base estimate, Munster sees Apple selling 142 million iPhone units, good for an 18 percent increase in revenue. In the bull case scenario, Apple sells 162 million iPhone units throughout 2013, amounting to a 35 percent increase in revenue.
Munster admitted his projected 14 percent total revenue growth for Apple in calendar 2013 is conservative. That would be a significant reduction from the 56 percent revenue growth he sees Apple earning in calendar 2011. The bull case sees Apple growing revenue 28 percent in calendar 2013.
Beyond the iPhone, Munster's model assumes Apple will just release one third-generation iPad to replace the current iPad 2. But if Apple decides to expand the iPad lineup beyond its current models and price points, he sees the company growing well beyond his current estimates.
Munster's calendar 2013 base estimate calls for 66 million iPads to be sold, representing an 11 percent increase in revenue from the estimates for 2012. But in his bull case, Apple would sell 77.5 million iPads and grow its revenue by 30 percent.
Apple could achieve those higher numbers if the company decides to expand the iPad lineup into both lower and higher price points, he believes. Currently, the iPad comes in three capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, with two different variations: Wi-Fi-only and 3G-capable.
Rumors and speculation of an expanded iPad lineup are not new, though Apple has yet to adjust its strategy. Last month, another analyst predicted that Apple will sell a third-generation iPad with a high-resolution Retina Display alongside a faster "iPad 2S" with the same screen resolution as the current iPad 2, but with a faster processor and Siri integration. He also predicted that Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2 at a lower price, much like the company already does with the iPhone 3GS.
Finally, Munster also believes that Apple could drive growth in the Mac platform with new form factors and a broader range of prices in calendar years 2012 and 2013. Reports have suggested Apple plans to redesign its MacBook Pro lineup in 2012, and also expand the MacBook Air line with a new 15-inch model.
Munster's base forecast calls for Apple to sell 24 million Macs in calendar 2013, a 15 percent increase from his estimates for 2012. The bull case sees Apple selling another 2 million Macs to reach 26 million, good for 20 percent growth in revenue.