Apple ZOOMS to Another Record On iPhone Buzz

It’s been a good week for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and it looks to be ending on top after shares of the company touched a new record high on Friday. The stock closed up 1.22 percent at $691.28 Friday after having reached an all-time intraday high of $696.98 earlier. Through Thursday, the stock is up 69 percent this year.

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Apple launched its newest smartphone iteration, iPhone 5, on Wednesday and the initial stock for the device was sold out within an hour of the start of online preorders on Friday morning. Apple upped its expected shipping time on new orders to two to three weeks from one, suggesting strong early demand for the phone. The new model will be available in Apple Stores as well as retailers Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) next Friday for walk-in purchases.

The new iPhone flaunts a 4-inch Retina display, is calibrated to run on high-speed 4G LTE networks, and is thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4S. Investors and analysts are also impressed that Apple has promised to roll out the phone around the world quicker than any of its previous devices.

“The initial batch is sold out,” Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu told Bloomberg, while adding that he had raised his unit sales estimate for the quarter ending in September to 26 million units from 23 million. “We think that could turn out to be conservative.”

But despite the positive buzz, some analysts think the early sell-out may point to a potential supply crunch as well. “We believe the fast sell out indicates both high levels of demand and constrained supply,” Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross told Reuters. “However, given that the company announced an aggressive rollout schedule, we assume management’s plan includes a rapid increase in production,” Cross added.

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