Analyst: Here’s Why the iPhone Will Have a Great Quarter

The supplies of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 continue to be strained if Hon Hai Precision Industries chairman Terry Gou is to be believed, but at least one analyst suggests that a fix was not too far away. Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu wrote in a note to investors on Thursday that his checks of Apple’s supply chain had proved the company had significantly improved its production capacity since the launch of the new smartphone in September.

Wu predicted that the company will sell a total of 46.5 million iPhones in the December quarter, which would represent a quarter-over-quarter increase of 19.6 million units. The analyst added that the main issue plaguing manufacturing right now was not component shortages, but assembly line shortcomings. Wu said he was responding to Wednesday’s comments from Gou, who said his company had struggled to produce the iPhone 5 because of Apple’s great quality-control measures and that supply was falling short of meeting the huge demand.

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Both Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T), the country’s two largest wireless providers, admitted to supply shortfalls of the new Apple smartphone in the third quarter of the calendar year.

Wu has a Buy rating and an $840 price target on Apple stock, which has seen some big drops this week on a host of bad news and went low enough to enter official bear-market territory during intraday trading on both Wednesday and Thursday.

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