Most analysts were disappointed by the iPhone 5 sales figure released by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) this week, even though the total of 5 million units over three days was a record for the company’s smartphones. Investors responded by suddenly losing confidence in the company’s stock, taking $16 billion off Apple’s market cap at one point on Monday. However, according to Topeka Capital’s Brian White, the market completely misread the significance of the sales figure. The analyst has insisted in a note to investors that it was, in fact, an “epic launch” by the company.
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“[The] iPhone 5 pre-orders were a blowout and double the iPhone 4S,” White wrote in the note on Tuesday, explaining that the sales figure represented a 100 percent year-over-year growth for the iPhone 5 compared with the 67 percent the iPhone 4S had seen last year. White added that pre-orders were related to demand and not to supplies. He was also impressed that pre-orders for the device sold out in an hour compared to the almost complete day its predecessor had taken to do the same.
Predicted shipment delays for the 4S, launched last October, also only reached one to two weeks, compared with the three to four weeks Apple is citing for the iPhone 5. In addition, White said “most Apple stores sold out of the iPhone 5 soon after the phone’s store launch, while that had not been the case at the time of the iPhone 4S debut. The analyst said his surveys found the new phone was sold out at approximately half of the U.S. Apple retail stores by Saturday and at 80 percent to 85 percent of them by Sunday evening.
White has a $1,111 price target for Apple stock, the highest on record for the company by a mainstream analyst.
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