Has Apple Fixed the iPhone 5 Supply Issue?

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek has said Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be close to solving its component constraints problem after adding Sony (NYSE:SNE) to the list of suppliers for the in-cell displays used in the iPhone 5. Expanding the list, which also includes LG Display (NYSE:LPL) and Japan Display, has “alleviated what was the main bottleneck” in the production of the phone, Misek wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday.

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The analyst added that solving the screen issue was likely to “offset bear concerns” about apparently disappointing sales of the phone over the opening weekend. While Apple announced it sold a record 5 million units of the device over three days, several analysts had projected figures closer to 8 million. The analyst also does not expect Apple to lose smartphone buyers anytime soon, estimating that 170 million global smartphone subscriptions will go off contract in the second half of this year and another 450 million in 2013.

The Jefferies analyst raised his earnings per share estimates for the company, saying he expected revenue of $36.4 billion and profits of $8.91 a share for the September quarter, up from $34 billion and $8.05 respectively. For the December quarter, he has now projected revenue of $62 billion on earnings of $18.47 per share, up from $60 billion and $17.44 a share respectively. For the 2013 fiscal year, Misek expects revenue of $223 billion at earnings of $63.05 per share, way above the Wall Street consensus of $193 billion and $53.03 per share.

Misek expects a December quarter launch for the rumored iPad Mini with 8 million units selling in those three months. Consequently, he has cut his expectations for sales of existing iPad models by 3 million to reflect the expected cannibalization.

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