The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple's Long-Awaited iPhone 5 Arrives
CHICAGO, Sept. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Apple (AAPL) was recently featured in the blog.
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Here are the highlights from Zacks Analyst Blog Apple (AAPL) iPhone 5:
Apple's Long-Awaited iPhone 5 Arrives
After a prolonged wait, Apple Inc. (AAPL) finally unveiled its iPhone 5 yesterday. The latest version of iPhone is much thinner and lighter than its predecessors. The Apple iPhone 5 is powered by the Apple new A6 processor chips and runs on iOS 6, ensuring faster processing speeds.
As expected, Apple iPhone 5 supports 4GLTE and DC-HSDPA wireless connectivity that provides faster speeds for browsing, downloading and streaming content over the Internet. The iPhone 5 will be available on AT&T Inc. (T), Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) networks.
With a weight of 3.95 oz, Apple iPhone 5 is much lighter than its predecessors - Apple iPhone 4S (4.9 oz) and Apple iPhone 4 (4.8 oz). Moreover, the new Apple iPhone 5 is 18% slimmer than the earlier version with its 7.9 mm anodized aluminum body. In terms of screen size, Apple iPhone 5 has a 4-inch 1136-by-640 Retina display, which is bigger and has a better resolution than Apple iPhone 4S and Apple iPhone 4, which had a 3.5-inch 960-by-640 Retina display.
Though Apple has not altered the 8 mega pixel rear camera in Apple iPhone 5, the front camera is upgraded from VGA to much improved 1.2 mega pixel with 720p video. Apple iPhone 5's Siri has new features and supports more languages.
Apart from these, Apple iPhone 5 has a new connector called Lightning, an upgraded version from the earlier 30-pin connector. However, customers would have to buy new accessories to use the iPhone 5. Moreover, Apple has upgraded its standard Apple Earphones to Apple EarPods. EarPods are small earbuds with built-in remote and mic.
Apple iPhone 5 is available in white and sliver or black and slate colors. Customers can preorder their iPhone 5 from September 14, 2012 and will have to shell out $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model in the U.S. The Apple iPhone 5 will be available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K. starting September 21, 2012. Apple iPhone 5 will be available in 22 more countries from September 28, 2012.
We note that several new features of Apple iPhone 5 are already present in some of the smartphones available in the market. However, considering the loyal customer base and international expansion plans, we remain optimistic about Apple's long-term growth. Apple iPhones constitute a significant portion of Apple's revenues and we believe that the performance of Apple iPhone 5 will act as a major catalyst for the Apple's forthcoming quarters.
We believe that the new Apple iPhone 5 could strengthen Apple's position in the smartphone market. According to IDC, in the second quarter of 2012, Apple's share in the smartphone market slid to 16.9% from 18.8% in the year-ago quarter. Over the same period, Samsung almost doubled its market share to 32.6% from 17.0%. The new Apple iPhone 5 will definitely increase the Apple's chances to regain some lost ground.
However, the impending lawsuits and stiff competition from Samsung with its wide range of products in the smartphone and tablet markets will remain an overhang on the stock going forward.
We have a Neutral recommendation over the long term (6-12 months). Currently, Apple has a Zacks #3 Rank, which implies a Hold rating in the near term.
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