Apple's (AAPL) much-anticipated 10th-anniversary edition of the iPhone could finally be available for sale on Sept. 22.
That's because Apple has scheduled a product launch event for Sept. 12 and the secretive company has historically released the newest iPhone about 10 days after its initial announcement. At the event, Apple is expected to announce the new iPhone 8, updated iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, as well as a new smartwatch, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the scheduled event.
Knowing that the iPhone will most likely be for sale by the end of September doesn't affect forecasts for 2017 because the December quarter is always "the big one by a long way regardless of when the devices go on sale," according to Jackdaw Research chief analyst Jan Dawson.
The launch date is no surprise because it's been on the second Tuesday of September for the past several years, unless the Monday before was Labor Day, Dawson said. While Sept. 12 is a bit later in the month for Apple's launch event than previous years, the device will still probably go on sale Friday, Sept. 22 so that it can have an opening weekend, as well as a few days left in September to boost sales for the fourth quarter, he noted.
Analysts were largely expecting Apple to release the iPhone 8 in September after the company issued a positive forecast for the 2017 fourth quarter (July through September) in its latest earnings report that came out in early August. Apple guided for sales of $49 billion to $52 billion for the three months through September, while analysts were expecting sales of $49.1 billion. The few days of iPhone 8 sales in September will help Apple meet its target.
Loup Ventures founder Gene Munster echoed Dawson's thoughts, saying the launch event date doesn't impact his Apple model because it's in line with what was expected based on the forecast presented in the last earnings call.
Earlier this year, analysts thought Apple might delay the iPhone 8 launch until November or December and possibly early 2018 due to supply constraints for the OLED display panel and other components.
Apple shares were rising less than 1% to $161.44 in late afternoon trading on Monday and are up almost 40% this year.
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