Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Apple's iPhone is Still Going Strong

Apple’s iPhone is arguably one of the most successful companies of our time, and if you don’t agree with that statement, than you can’t argue with the fact that in the past few years the company has been incredibly successful. The iPhone is one of the factors that add a good bit to Apple’s success story. The iPhone revolutionized the smartphone industry and continues to do so. Many would say that it is the most popular and coveted phone right now. Well, according to DigiTimes, Apple must feel that their success will continue with the phone.

On Monday, December 27, the popular Taiwanese publication DigiTimes claimed that Taiwan-based suppliers could confirm that Apple was planning to increase its global shipment of iPhones for the first quarter of 2011. They seem to be planning on increasing the number of units from 19 million to 20 or 21 million.

It has been reported that Apple’s supplier Foxconn is shipping out between 14 and 15 million WDCMA iPhones, which is up from 13 million. It is also said that Foxconn and Pegatron are going to be shipping out 5 to 6 million CDMA iPhones. It is expected that these devices will be released in Asian Pacific and the United States (on Verizon’s network) in early 2011. A rumor is flying around that China and the U.S. will be the first countries to offer a CDMA compatible iPhone.

There have been rumors about Verizon carrying an iPhone for quite some time now, but the Wall Street Journal seemed to hint in October at the idea that Apple planned to introduce a Verizon version of the iPhone sometime in early 2011.

According to JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz, if Verizon were to launch some type of version of the iPhone, there is a potential for Verizon’s stock to add at least $1.25 in incremental earnings per share annually.

For the fourth quarter, it is expected that global iPhone shipments are going to come in somewhere around 15.5 million. For the entire year, it is predicted that Apple’s total iPhone shipments are going to be close to 47 million.

Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White said that his firm was forecasting iPhone sales to reach 13.3 million in the first quarter of 2011, and those numbers do not include what sales would be if Verizon were to release a version of the iPhone.

White wrote that if the number of CDMA iPhones that Digitimes claims to be shipping are correct, "these are big numbers and directly point to the growing popularity of the iPhone around the world in our view and the potential for a healthy upside to our earnings estimates.”

White said that during a trip to China, he noticed that the demand for iPhones definitely seemed to exceed the supplies that the country was receiving, as the exclusive official carrier of the iPhone, China Unicom, still seems to struggle to meet the demand for the iPhone 4. "For example, we indicated that the iPhone 4 was sold out for two months at authorized Apple resellers, Apple stores and China Unicom," he said. "We also mentioned that China Unicom was unable to fulfill approximately one-third of the iPhone 4 orders due to shortages." He said that China is still “in the early stages of catching ‘Apple Fever.’”

Earlier this month, Shaw Wu, one of Kaufman Bros. analysts, predicted that Apple would sell more than 62 million iPhones in 2011. This prediction did include Verizon contributing 2 to 3 million units in the U.S. per quarter or 8 to 12 million annually. Another analyst, Gene Munster, from Piper Jaffray said that Apple could sell another 2.5 additional iPhones next year if they add Verizon Wireless as a service provider.

iPhone sales are doing incredibly well, and it looks as though the sales will only continue to do well. Analysts are predicting that the first quarter of 2011 should be extremely successful. If Verizon can secure a version of the iPhone, I think that sales numbers will skyrocket. I know so many different people who prefer the iPhone to the Droid, but since they like Verizon Wireless service much better than AT&T, they settle with the Droid or some other smartphone offered by Verizon. If Verizon offered the iPhone, Apple would be sure to increase their iPhone sales by a good amount. The Wall Street Journal seems to think that Verizon should have some version of the iPhone early in 2011. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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