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Apple iPhone 5: The Potential Winners

Stocks in this article: AAPL SWKS T S VZ FB

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It's not just Apple, though, that stands to benefit from the comparatively early launch of the new iPhone 5.

"We are updating our estimates for AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and Sprint (S) to reflect the likelihood that Apple will launch the next iPhone this month (versus our prior expectation of a 10/1 launch)," explained Brett Feldman, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, in a recent note.

For all three telecom firms, Deutsche Bank increased its third-quarter iPhone unit sales forecasts. Nonetheless, Deutsche Bank lowered the companies' wireless EBITDA and earnings per share estimates for the third quarter and 2012, as a result of the subsidies the carriers pay for the phones.

"However, these impacts are mostly a function of timing and we generally view an early launch as a positive development for these carriers," added Feldman. "It should accelerate migration of their sub bases onto their new 4G/LTE networks and off of their congested 3G platforms."

AT&T, which has the largest iPhone base, will see the biggest impact, according to Feldman, who raised his third-quarter iPhone estimate from 3.2 million units to 5.2 million units. For Verizon, the Deutsche Bank analyst hiked his iPhone estimate from 2.5 million to 3.5 million units. Sprint, which started selling the iPhone last October, should sell 1.7 million iPhones in the third quarter, according to the analyst, compared to his prior estimate of 1.5 million.

"We are also maintaining our fourth-quarter iPhone forecast of 2 million as we believe that Sprint's unique position as the only carrier offering an LTE iPhone with an unlimited data plan should enable it to sustain strong sales through year-end."

Component Suppliers

The 'teardowns' that ritually follow major Apple product launches highlight a host of companies that have won coveted spots within the gadgets themselves.

Last year's iPhone 4S launch, for example, revealed components from the likes of Skyworks Solutions (SWKS), Qualcomm (QCOM) and TriQuint (TQNT) lurking within the device.

Almost 12 months on, power amplifier specialist Skyworks, in particular, is attracting plenty of attention. "We believe Skyworks will largely benefit from the upcoming Apple iPhone 5 event," noted Aalok Shah, an analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co., in a note. "Going into the event we anticipate Skyworks has expanded content in the new iPhone and likely won around $3 of content, versus our estimate of around $1.20 of content in the iPhone 4S."

Skyworks had a power amplifier module in the iPhone 4S, and has become increasingly associated with the rise of Apple and Samsung, another of its key component partners.

"Considering the pent-up demand, we believe that if the next iPhone starts shipping around the 21st of September that Apple could sell around 8 to 10 million units before the end of the September quarter," explained Shah. "Strong demand for the iPhone 5 will likely continue into the December quarter, boosting Skyworks cellular revenue by around $20 million.

Skyworks shares have risen 84.4% this year.

Apple, of course, keeps details of its new products a closely guarded secret (except for when prototypes are left in bars), so we won't know for definite what is in the new iPhone until Web sites such as start tearing it apart.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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