Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 5 Likely to Be "True World Phone" and Compatible with China Mobile - Analyst

June 21, 2012 8:30 AM EDT
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While upside for Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone will be less likely in the June and September quarters, analyst at Sterne Agee say they continue to believe the iPhone 5 will be a significant upgrade and will likely be a "true world phone" meaning compatibility with China Mobile (NYSE: CHL).

Due to lower supplier build plans, iPhone upside in the June and September quarters is less likely, analyst Shaw Wu said. He remains comfortable with a forecast looking for 27 million and 25 million units, respectively, versus the consensus estimates closer to 30 million. "As we have said before, this is more of a function of the transition ahead of the upcoming 6th generation iPhone refresh likely in the October timeframe as opposed to weak demand," the analyst said.

On the iPhone 5, checks will suppliers point to a significant upgrade with 3 key improvements: (1) a new form factor; (2) slightly larger screen; and (3) a 4G LTE wireless modem.

"We believe these new features will likely help drive a significant upgrade and new user cycle more powerful than what we saw with the iPhone 4 and 4S."

Another key features they the firm is picking up on is that the new iPhone will be a "true world phone" meaning the ability to work with the world's various 3G and 4G wireless networks, including China Mobile's proprietary TD-SCDMA 3G network.

"We believe the combination of technology support and enhanced features in the iOS 6 refresh tailored for Greater China including the ability for Siri to understand and speak in Mandarin and Cantonese, easier Chinese character input, and integration with popular internet services including Baidu, Sina Weibo, Youku, and Tudou, make iPhone an even more attractive platform and bring it closer to a partnership with China Mobile," Wu said.

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Shares of Apple closed at $585.74 yesterday.

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