Wall Street Analyst Sees iPhone Rebound, But Says Apple Watch Sales Are Lagging

One Wall Street analyst sees bright prospects ahead, at least in the long term, for the Apple iPhone, though demand for the Apple Watch has “fallen sharply from initial levels.”

In comments tied to a research note published on Wednesday (July 1) and cited by Seeking Alpha, Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves wrote: “Although we continue to expect iPhone sales to decline in the coming refresh cycle, ongoing share gains should prevent the decline from being as severe as we previously expected … We believe the majority of people earning $15,000 a year or more in the world will own an iPhone exiting [fiscal year] 2015.”

The analyst’s iPhone unit sales estimates for the current fiscal year and for the fiscal year that ends in September 2016 have been boosted by a respective 7 million and 10 million units, which would take total annual sales to 236 million and 218 million units.

Hargreaves, however, seems less sanguine on the Apple Watch. Hargreaves cut his FY15 sales estimates by half a million units, to a total of 10.5 million units. For FY16, he estimated a cut of 3 million units to land at a total 21 million watches to be sold in the next fiscal year. “Store visits, Google search volume, third-party data and recent supply checks all suggest [the demand has fallen off],” the analyst wrote.

The sell-side analyst kept his Sector Perform rating on Apple’s stock, which he has had in place since September 2014. And in reference to concrete numbers, Hargreaves raised his near-term earnings estimates on the company, forecasting earnings in the current year at $9.41, above the Street at $9.03, while his subsequent year’s bottom line estimate comes in at $9.29, below the consensus at $9.72.

In separate news related to Apple, Seeking Alpha said that 9to5Mac has leaked pictures that allegedly show the iPhone 6S case and circuit board.

In what might be termed a “tear down,” the pictures show that the latest iteration of the phone will use Qualcomm’s MDM9x35 baseband modem. Seeking Alpha noted that the modem offers twice the peak download speed of the modem in the iPhone 6/6+. Better power consumption is also at hand with the new modem, according to the site. And, in continuation with past iterations of the phone, the leaked photos suggest similarities between the 6S and the 6.

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