Wall Street Sees Apple, iPhone 5 As Top Pick in 2012

Questions abound about whether Apple managed to burn out iPhone enthusiasts by failing to deliver on the iPhone 5 in 2011. But it appears that Wall Street is counting on an iPhone 5 in 2012 — and big sales to follow.

Looking for a sound investment tip for 2012? Wall Street analysts are advising investors to go with Apple, anticipating a 2012 iPhone 5 release that will capitalize on the long-building anticipation for a completely redesigned, next-generation iPhone iteration that will embody Steve Jobs’ final vision for mobile computing and solidify Apple once again as a product leader in market technologies.

Apple shares are getting a boost today, thanks in large part to Citigroup analyst Terence Whalen, who is predicting a big year for Cupertino, with the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 launching in the first half of 2012. According to Barron’s, Whalen is pointing out that analog chip maker Maxim Integrated Products will play a big role in the iPhone 5‘s production and sales: “A recent supply chain check confirms a mosaic theory we’ve been building the past few Qs, suggesting that MXIM has indeed won the power management slot in the upcoming iPhone 5.”

For as much as this news is a positive affirmation of a 2012 iPhone 5 — and the idea that it could arrive sooner than later — I would caution reading too far into what Apple’s partnership with Maxim Integrated Products might mean from a technological perspective for the iPhone in the coming year. While Whalen’s insights seem trustworthy, Barron’s is quick to note “the fickle nature of support on the Street for chip companies riding Apple’s coat-tails.” This, coupled with the fact that we’ve already seen a good deal of musical chairs with Samsung and TSMC are enough to confirm that we cannot confirm anything based on rumors of who will be building what for the iPhone 5 — at least for the foreseeable future.

Again, what I take from this report is that we can expect the iPhone 5 release date more so in the first half of 2012, and not the latter. While we have yet to see Apple release a new iPhone less than a year from the previous iteration, this may very well be the exception year.

I think we are on track for a June 2012 announcement of the iPhone 5.



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