updated 11:15 am EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
Analyst holds to fourth-quarter launch date
Apple could start commercial production of a TV set in May or June, likely building somewhere between 2 to 5 million units, says Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Misek. The claim is based on a recent trip to Asia. "We believe specialty components have begun to ship to Apple's Asia panel suppliers with polarized films, filters, and [Sharp] IGZO components starting to move in small quantities," he writes. As before, a fourth-quarter launch is anticipated.
IGZO technology has allegedly been considered for multiple Apple products, including iPads and iPhones, though nothing has so far been produced. This includes TVs, but Sharp may be having problems with producing yields that meet Apple demands.
Misek has meanwhile raised his iPhone forecast for 2012 from 145 million units to 155 million; for Apple's fiscal year, he sees 142.2 million units instead of 136.3 million. On a quarterly basis estimates have been raised from 28 million to 33 million for the March period, while in the June quarter numbers have been tweaked from 29.7 million to 32 million. Long-term, FY2013 is now predicted to show 191.3 million phones instead of 177.7 million.
"We believe iPhone builds have been increased significantly with Hon Hai now estimating CY12 units at 150M and Pegatron estimating 25M-40M," says Misek. "The variance at Pegatron is likely due to variable expectations around the iPhone launch at China Telecom and China Mobile. We continue to see an iPhone 5 launch in CQ3. We believe initial iPhone 5 build expectations are approaching 50M." Based largely on iPhone numbers, Misek has raised his price target for Apple stock from $599 to $699.