Now that Apple Inc. (AAPL) has finally lifted the veil on its next generation iPhones, the speculation has begun on whether the new phones will trigger another "super cycle" of customer upgrades, similar to the one experienced for the larger-screen iPhone 6.
Several Wall Street analysts seem to think so. Many are calling the special edition iPhone X Apple's most revolutionary phone to date because of its Super Retina organic LED edge-to-edge display, glass casing, wireless charging technology, AR capabilities and 3D sensing chip (Apple's other new models, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, represent a more modest upgrade from the iPhone 7). The analysts argue that the latest iPhones, coupled with pent-up demand from an aging iPhone user base, could propel the tech giant's bottom line to new record-breaking heights.
"We continue to feel confident that the iPhone X is likely to spur a consumer 'supercycle,' à la the iPhone 6," wrote Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan analyst Katy Huberty wrote that she believes Wall Street is underestimating how much pent-up demand from existing iPhone owners could lead to a surge in Apple's fiscal 2018 earnings per share. She estimated that there's a user base of 231 million people with two-year-old iPhones that are in need of an update. As a result, Apple could see earnings of $11.80 per share in 2018 vs. Wall Street's expected $10.81 per share.
Other analysts, including Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets, also say that the form factor upgrade will be enough to to drive one of "the strongest iPhone cycles in recent years."
"This year's event marked one of the most highly anticipated product announcements in recent years, and from a product perspective, the company did not disappoint," Daryanani added.
A possible iPhone super cycle also means Apple would need to break its own record, set in 2015 after the release of the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6, released in Sept. 2014, unlocked an avalanche of demand from users who had stuck with the iPhone 4 or 5 and were looking to upgrade. It was released just as the phablet -- part phone, part tablet -- had its breakthrough moment and, all of a sudden, users wanted smartphones with extra-large screens.
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