RBC reiterates September iPhone 5 debut amid rumors of October launch

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Pointing to a series of identifiable trends, as well as "build data" from Apple's Far East suppliers, investment bankers with RBC Capital Markets on Tuesday waved caution flags at rumors that an iPhone 5 won't hit the market until October.



Analyst Mike Abramsky said on Tuesday that he is "cautious" regarding the latest news that Apple's so-called "iPhone 5" will debut in October. He still believes a September launch is more likely, based on three key reasons.



Build data from Apple's overseas supply chain, he said, still points toward production of a fifth-generation iPhone ramping up in August and September. That would put the iPhone 5 on track for a September launch.



In addition, he has placed confidence in vague comments from Apple executives, who revealed during their last quarterly earnings call that the company is planning a major product transition to begin the end of September. Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer revealed the mystery product transition will have a material impact on the company's September quarter.



Apple's guidance for the quarter calls for the company to earn $25 billion during the three-month frame, less than the $28.57 billion the company earned during the June quarter. That has created the expectation that iPhone sales will slow as Apple prepares to introduce a next-generation handset.



Finally, Abramsky also points to rumors of vacation blackout dates for AT&T retail employees at the end of September. Workers at the wireless carrier have allegedly been prohibited from taking vacation time during the last two weeks of September, prompting speculation that a new iPhone could go on sale during that period.



The analyst said that AT&T has typically blocked vacations for iPhone launches in the past, which leads him to believe that a September launch for a fifth-generation iPhone is more likely.







Abramsky's note to investors was issued in response to a report this week from John Paczkowski of All Things D, who was reportedly told by an anonymous source that the new iPhone will launch in October. Additional, separate sources allegedly indicated that the next iPhone will become available later in the month of October.



While market watchers anxiously await the later-than-usual debut of Apple's next iPhone, the currently available iPhone 4 continues to help Apple break sales records, despite the fact that it is more than a year old. In Apple's June quarter, the Cupertino, Calif., company sold a record 20.34 million iPhones, helping its profits grow 125 percent.



In years past, Apple has released a new iPhone in the June-July timeframe alongside a new version of its iOS mobile operating system. While the company remains tight-lipped, as usual, about its next iPhone hardware, the next-generation iOS 5 software is scheduled to arrive this fall.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    It's coming in September. Bank on it. The AT&T vacation blackouts are FAR more telling and reliable than any "channel checks" with "trusted far east sources" etc.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    cxc273cxc273 Posts: 46member
    I hope RBC is right and the iPhone 5 launches sooner than later!
  • Reply 3 of 17
    tleviertlevier Posts: 104member
    Debut. Has any iPhone launched on the Debut date? No.



    They'll have their September iPod event and they'll state a release date towards the end of the month.



    I'd bank on a Sept 30 sell date.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member
    I'm looking to replace my aging iPhone 3GS' sooner than later. Come on and release a new iPhone next month, Apple!
  • Reply 5 of 17
    I think it will be launched sooner than anyone expects. It's not going to take too long before everyone and their dog knows that the iPhone 5 is coming soon... and then iPhone 4 sales will drop off the charts. How long a period does anyone expect that Apple will let that happen?
  • Reply 6 of 17
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,839member
    Bloggerblog reiterates September iPhone 5 debut amid rumors of October launch
  • Reply 7 of 17
    You are really only talking about a two week window.... Obviously iOS 5 will be released with the new iPhone 5. They said iOS5 would release in fall and fall starts the 23rd. My guess is iOS5 released to general public on 23rd, iPhone 5 goes on sale Sept 30 and somewhere in there we have a public media announcement. They might even pre-announce on the 15th or something.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Pointing to a series of identifiable trends, as well as "build data" from Apple's Far East suppliers, investment bankers with RBC Capital Markets on Tuesday waved caution flags at rumors that an iPhone 5 won't hit the market until October.



    Analyst Mike Abramsky said on Tuesday that he is "cautious" regarding the latest news that Apple's so-called "iPhone 5" will debut in October. He still believes a September launch is more likely, based on three key reasons.



    Fact: The rumor mill is building up momentum. There will be an increasing number of 'reports', component images, iPhone 5 cover sightings. This is feeding frenzy time.



    Fact: A new iPhone will arrive soonish. When it does it will be a disappointment to us because our expectations have made us loose sight of reality. To the rest of the world it will be awesome.



    Much more interesting than a new iPhone will be what one can do with it. iCloud.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    When my contract on the original 3GS ran out last month, O2 called me about upgrading and i said that i was waiting till the next Iphone before i do that. The exact response i got was...

    'well, Apple keep pushing the date back but at the moment we are expecting it at the end of September'

    she sounded very sure of what she was saying, and put me on a new temp 12 month contract more min and freebees at a fraction of the price (which is very rare these days in the UK) and said i can cancel it free of charge in September when the next Iphone arrives and start another contract with that. Of course she could be wrong but what with so many reports of a September launch I'm inclined to believe her...
  • Reply 10 of 17
    guch20guch20 Posts: 173member
    All I know is it needs to come out soon and it needs to include a version on Sprint's network.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    s4mb4s4mb4 Posts: 267member
    who cares, my white iPhone 4 is perfect.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post


    who cares, my white iPhone 4 is perfect.



    Your "perfect" white iphone 4 will be 3 years old before you are eligible to upgrade again.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post


    who cares, my white iPhone 4 is perfect.



    I am surprised that I have not seen more white ones in the wild.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post


    It's coming in September. Bank on it. The AT&T vacation blackouts are FAR more telling and reliable than any "channel checks" with "trusted far east sources" etc.



    The vacay blackout is just a rumor. Now if we had proof that would be more telling. Even more telling would be a proven blackout for Apple employees since ATT could be acting on guess work themselves.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by timesgoingfast View Post


    When my contract on the original 3GS ran out last month, O2 called me about upgrading and i said that i was waiting till the next Iphone before i do that. The exact response i got was...

    'well, Apple keep pushing the date back but at the moment we are expecting it at the end of September'



    They are expecting it based on their best guess. Doesn't mean they know anything. They could be making the assumption of Sept because that's when the iPods typically come out and they are assuming the two will happen at the same time. Around mid Sept announce them both with the iPod shipping right away and the iPhones say a week or two later. They could also be assuming that because iOS is coming in 'the fall' and that to the common man means Sept as Oct is generally seen as part of the Holiday season and thus too late to launch anything.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by autiger426 View Post


    Your "perfect" white iphone 4 will be 3 years old before you are eligible to upgrade again.



    And? Your point is what? If the phone still works who cares how old it is. We have no proof that there will be anything dazzling about the iPhone 5 hardware. For all we know this is just an iPhone 4s game with all the real improvements being in the software that will also run on the 4
  • Reply 15 of 17
    For all we know, Apple could be launching a new iPod Classic this September.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    tleviertlevier Posts: 104member
    One other thing to consider, I think Apple likes breaking the sales of a new device into the last week of a quarter to give that quarter a little bump. I could see them doing that for the US, but I think to do that in other countries might cause a CFO nightmare.



    I'm now revising my prediction a bit. I'll go with Oct 1st date for the first international launch (Canada, UK, etc) and Sept 23rd for the U.S.



    I'll go ahead and also guess a Sept 13 media event for unveiling purposes and a launch of iOS5 later that week (Sept 16).



    Someone should put together a spreadsheet for a "Launch Date Smackdown" based on those 4 dates.



    Media Event Date

    iOS 5 Launch Date

    US Launch Date

    1st Int'l Launch Date
  • Reply 17 of 17
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tlevier View Post


    One other thing to consider, I think Apple likes breaking the sales of a new device into the last week of a quarter to give that quarter a little bump. I could see them doing that for the US, but I think to do that in other countries might cause a CFO nightmare.



    I'm now revising my prediction a bit. I'll go with Oct 1st date for the first international launch (Canada, UK, etc) and Sept 23rd for the U.S.



    I'll go ahead and also guess a Sept 13 media event for unveiling purposes and a launch of iOS5 later that week (Sept 16).



    Someone should put together a spreadsheet for a "Launch Date Smackdown" based on those 4 dates.



    Media Event Date

    iOS 5 Launch Date

    US Launch Date

    1st Int'l Launch Date



    The U.S. domestic ship date of September 23 of the next-generation iPhone would record just two days of sales since Apple's Q4 (and fiscal 2011) ends on Saturday the 24th. All of Apple's quarters are thirteen weeks long, ending on the last Saturday of the period (except for the infrequent 14-week quarter to make up for extra days).



    Apple CFO Oppenheimer's comment about a major product transition with a material impact on the current quarter (which is thinly veined language for "revenue") really boils down to two scenarios.



    Scenario A: Apple does their iPhone media event in late September, releases iOS 5, then ships the new handset in early October (or on Friday the 23rd). iPhone 4 sales slump right before the iPhone 5 ship date, less iPhone revenue in Q4.



    Scenario B: Apple does their media event in early September, releases iOS 5, and ships the new iPhone with enough time to do significant sales by Saturday the 24th, more iPhone revenue in Q4.



    My gut instinct is Scenario A.
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