UBS analyst Ben Reitzes reckons there will be a new version of the JesusPhone before Spring has sprung next year. "Our contacts in the supply chain," he claims, "point toward a new iPhone model to be release by March." A report from UBS Investment Research has raised Apple stock to an estimated $220, and author Reitzes says that it will keep rising by the time MacWorld comes around next year. And it wasn't just iPhone — all sorts of predictions have materialized from the analyst's crystal ball:
1. There will be a surge in iPod sales now that the new iPods are fully available. Disappointing sales (10.2 million units!) were down to the new models coming so late in the third quarter, but more will be shifted in the run-up to Christmas.
2. Mucho money will be flowing into the Cupertino coffers from the European carriers as the iPhone hits the old continent. And that's before you've even taken into consideration the other territories where the cell has still to materialize.
3. Next year's money spinners are expected to be an ultra-portable device, gaming initiatives and the iTunes video rental scheme. And we don't even have to mention today's Leopard launch, and the summertime iMac update, do we?
Reitzes' overwhelming feeling is that Apple's continued success is down to one thing: "It's the iPhone, stupid" and he believes that the company will continue with the strategy that brought them so much success earlier this year. "We continue to believe Apple is in the process of creating another version of the 'multiplier effect,' which we call 'Halo 2,'" he says. "Apple's fiscal 4Q results show that the build up to the launch of the iPhone and its ongoing excitement is driving sales of accessories, boosting retail traffic, and helping drive sales of iPods and especially Macs. As a result, we believe shares can continue to move higher into Macworld [Expo] in January."