NEW YORK (
) -- It's finally here.
(AAPL - Get Report)
iPhone 5 officially went on sale Friday morning in 9 countries around the world, and analysts are expecting to see incredible demand as Apple's flagship product gets into the hands of consumers.
Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore raised his price target on the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant on expectations "the iPhone 5 will fly."
Whitmore believes that demand will be extremely strong, based on both a new form factor, as well as the Long Term Evolution (LTE) upgrade Apple included in the new iPhone. He said he believes there are around 245 million active iPhone users around the globe, of which around 50 million are over two years old and eligible for an upgrade. In the U.S. alone, there are 17 million users available for upgrade, and Whitmore believes the upgrade cycle could be stretched out further than people think.
"We believe demand for iPhone 5 is extremely robust and will prove more durable than the iPhone 4S cycle due to its substantial feature set upgrade (simultaneous form factor, speed and LTE upgrade). With a fast geographic ramp (9 countries on Sept 21; another 29 by end of month and 100 countries on 240 carriers by year end) we expect supply to be the gating factor to near-term unit shipments; not demand," Whitmore wrote in his note.
Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell agreed that there will be strong demand for the iPhone 5, after taking an informal survey at two Apple Stores.
"Given the materially longer queues we are incrementally confident that Apple will be able to at least meet the 6m figure we have assumed for iPhone 5 sales over the opening weekend and we see potential upside to our 28m Q4 (Sep) estimate," Cordwell wrote in his note. He rates Apple shares overweight with a $760 price target.
Apple shares were higher in early Friday trading, up 0.64% to $703.19.
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Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York