The growth trajectory of iPhone sales could lift
stock past $300. iPhone unit sales grew 131% last quarter from the quarter in 2009.
We estimate that Apple's iPhone business constitutes nearly 50% of the $294 Trefis price estimate for Apple's stock meaning that sustained iPhone growth can have a significant impact on Apple's stock.
Here we highlight how Apple's iPhone sales could exceed our estimates if quarterly growth rates for the remainder of 2010 were comparable to 2009 rates and how this can lead to an Apple estimate that exceeds $300.
Apple sold 25 million iPhones in 2009 with unit sales growing rapidly during the middle two quarters of the year:
- January-March: 3.8 million
- April-June: 5.2 million (37% quarter-over-quarter growth)
- July-September: 7.4 million (42% quarter-over-quarter growth)
- October-December: 8.7 million (18% quarter-over-quarter growth)
Apple introduced the new iPhone 3GS mid-way through 2009 and it is speculated that Apple will introduce the next generation iPhone around mid-year 2010. If the next generation iPhone was to trigger similar quarterly growth rates for the remainder of 2010, the total 2010 iPhone unit sales could exceed our current forecast.
By applying Apple's 2009 quarterly growth rates to the reported 8.75 million iPhones Apple sold from January to March 2010, we calculate that unit sales may trend as follows:
- April-June: 12 million
- July-September: 17 million
- October-December: 20 million
This implies that total iPhone sales for 2010 would be nearly 58 million, 130% greater than the 25 million iPhones sold in 2009 and in line with the 131% quarter-over-quarter growth rate that Apple reported for the first quarter in 2010.
iPhone unit sales of 58 million in 2010 would imply about 4.5% Apple market share within the global mobile phone market. This is meaningfully higher than our current estimate of 3.2% market share for Apple in 2010. The higher market share also places the iPhone ahead of the BlackBerry by
Research In Motion
in terms of share for the first time.
By raising our market share forecast to 4.5% in 2010, you can see from the chart how our estimate for Apple's stock would exceed $300 as a result of higher market share.
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