As pricing details continue to emerge about the new iPhone, one analyst estimates that Apple stands to make more from each device than previously thought.
Gene Munster, of investment bank Piper Jaffray, said that AT&T’s complete official pricing for iPhone 3G units suggests Apple is making more from the reportedly abundant iPhone stock than estimated in the past.
Although the US$199 starting price is much lower for the customers themselves, the US$599 pay-as-you-go price suggests that the carrier subsidy cuts much deeper.
If so, then this hides potentially greater profits for Apple, which could be asking US$500 for each iPhone versus an earlier estimate of US$425.
“This discrepancy leads us to believe our [average selling price] is conservative,” said Munster.
The analyst said that a change of this level would boost Apple’s revenue for 2009 by eight per cent.
Reitzes also points out that steep drops in the prices of NAND flash memory could further help Apple’s bottom line by reducing the manufacturing costs of each iPhone.
However, such is the iPhone’s hunger for flash chips – Apple is understood to have ordered 50 million of Samsung’s eight gigabit (one gigabyte) – that Samsung’s supply is reportedly being put under pressure.
Each iPhone typically uses multiple stacked chips.
Some of Samsung’s smaller customers are apparently being told that their own orders are being reduced to keep Apple in healthy supply.
The situation has been compounded by Samsung reducing production in April and May to prevent an oversupply later in the year, while Apple also reportedly ordered half as many NAND chips in June.
Meanwhile, Toni Sacconaghi, research analyst with Bernstein Research, said he now expects Apple to sell 8.5 million iPhones for the rest of the calendar year, bringing his forecasted total for all of 2008 to 11 million units.
The analyst expects 19.5 million units to be sold in 2009.
Sacconaghi thinks the company can take 15 per cent of the post-paid US handset market in calendar 2009, and 6 per cent share of the post-paid market outside the US.
“These are impressive numbers given the iPhone remains positioned at the very high end of the mobile handset market,” he said.
Outside the US, Sacconaghi notes that the significant increase in the number of countries in which Apple will sell the phone should lead to much higher non-US sales than for the first generation phone – he expects the penetration rate will be 2.5 times higher.