Investment firm UBS revealed on Thursday that it has high expectations for Apple's gross margins in the just-concluded June quarter, predicting they will reach nearly 41 percent on outstanding sales of the jumbo-sized iPhone 6 Plus.
Analyst Steven Milunovich believes the average selling price of Apple's iPhone lineup reached $660 in the June quarter, based on proprietary research from the UBS Evidence Lab iPhone Monitor, as well as data from Consumer Intelligence Research partners. Milunovich's conclusions were shared in a research note to investors on Thursday, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider.
Based on strong sales of the iPhone 6 Plus, Milunovich believes that Apple achieved gross margins of 40.9 percent in the quarter. In contrast, consensus on Wall Street currently calls for margins at 39.4 percent.
If the prediction proves accurate, it would mean that Apple exceeded even its own expectations. The company provided guidance for gross margins to be between 38.5 and 39.5 percent back in April.
Apple's iPhone lineup ranges in price from the entry-level $450 iPhone 5c, all the way up to the $949 128-gigabyte iPhone 6 Plus.
CIRP's research found that among iPhone buyers last quarter, the average capacity grew 6 percent sequentially to 45 gigabytes. The data also showed that 18 percent of respondents were switchers from Android handsets.
Looking forward to the next iPhone release cycle, Milunovich believes margins for the "iPhone 6s" will improve. He sees total margins for the company growing to 41.6 percent, also bolstered by what he believes will be improving margins for the Apple Watch.
UBS has maintained its price target of $150 for shares of AAPL, with a "buy" recommendation for investors. Apple will report the results of its June quarter next Tuesday, July 21, after markets close in the U.S.