Over Half of Prospective iPhone X Buyers Surveyed Plan to Choose 256GB Storage

iPhone X with 256GB storage is the most popular device among prospective smartphone buyers, according to a survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets.


Of the 832 individuals surveyed, 28 percent said they plan to purchase iPhone X as their next smartphone. An additional 20 percent of respondents said they intend to buy iPhone 8 Plus, while 17 percent will go for iPhone 8.


The remaining 35 percent of consumers plan to purchase an older model, ranging from iPhone 6s to iPhone 7 Plus.

RBC Capital Markets said 43 percent of prospective buyers interested solely in a new iPhone are looking to purchase an iPhone X, while 32 percent favor iPhone 8 Plus, but no accompanying chart was provided for this data.

A majority 57 percent of respondents who plan on purchasing iPhone X will opt for the 256GB model, which costs $1,149 in the United States. 43 percent said they will buy the 64GB model for $999.


By comparison, 50 percent of iPhone 7 respondents last year opted for 128GB, which was the middle tier between 32GB and 256GB.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani:
Interestingly, Apple has removed the middle-tier storage option from iPhones. We think that given increasingly greater storage requirements, most of mid-tier storage users will move towards the higher tier.
46 percent of a larger pool of 4,196 respondents said wireless charging is iPhone X's most attractive feature.


Overall, RBC Capital Markets expects strong demand for iPhone X, which should increase Apple's average selling price for iPhones in general. The investment bank remains upbeat about Apple's stock, with a price target of $180.

iPhone X pre-orders start Friday, October 27. The device launches Friday, November 3.


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Bullish Analyst Says Apple Has Potential to Become Trillion Dollar Company Within 18 Months

Apple has the potential to become a trillion dollar company by 2019, according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani.

In a research note on Monday, Daryanani said Apple could reach or exceed a trillion dollar market cap within the next 12 to 18 months.

An excerpt from Daryanani's research note, edited slightly for clarity:
In aggregate, we see a scenario where in the 2019 fiscal year, Apple sustains $12+ earnings per share and, assuming the valuation frameworks remains stable/improves, it should get AAPL stock toward $192–$195, which would equate to a market cap above $1 trillion.
Daryanani believes the so-called "iPhone 8" and the upgrade supercycle it's expected to drive will be a major catalyst towards Apple's path to a trillion dollar valuation. Looking further ahead, he thinks there is potential for Apple to continue growing its Services category revenue by double digits year over year.
Longer-term, we think there is potential for Apple to continue growing Services revenue by double digit year-over-year given the company's expanding installed base [of devices], increasing App Store sales within the current installed base, demand for cloud storage/compute services, and further adoption of Apple Pay.
Apple's Services category brought in $7.17 billion last quarter, from $6 billion in the year-ago quarter, representing 18 percent year-over-year growth. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Services category is already the size of a Fortune 100 company, with hopes to double the category's revenue by 2020.

Earlier this month, Apple's market cap surpassed the $800 billion mark for the first time ever as the company's shares traded above $153. RBC has raised its Apple stock price target to $168, up from $157, given the upside it anticipates from the iPhone 8 and increasing services-related revenue.

Wall Street analyst Brian White also raised his 12-month price target for Apple's stock to $202, up from $185, earlier this month. White believes Apple "remains among the most underappreciated stocks in the world," and his bullish price target suggests the company could be valued at a trillion dollars within the next year.


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RBC Raises Price Target on Apple Shortly After Outlining Potential Benefits of a Merger With Disney

RBC Capital Markets raised its AAPL price target to $157 today, up from $155, as it believes iPhone sales were stable to modestly better than expected in Apple's second quarter, which ended on March 31.


The investment bank's lead Apple analyst Amit Daryanani said the company's iPhone mix continues to remain positive, with "more" Plus-sized models sold in the quarter than it previously forecasted. iPhone 7 Plus models carry a $120 premium over iPhone 7 models, contributing to a higher average selling price.

RBC now estimates Apple will report quarterly revenue of $53.5 billion, matching the high end of the company's guidance. Apple is scheduled to report its second quarter earnings results on May 2 at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time. MacRumors.com will provide live coverage of Apple's conference call at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

The bank said it remains positive about AAPL based on so-called "iPhone 8" refresh cycle tailwinds, benefits from a possible capital allocation increase, the acceleration of its growing Services category, and potential upside from U.S. Donald Trump's political agenda in relation to taxes and cash repatriation.

Apple's stock price has been rising steadily since November, as rumors suggest the company will launch its first iPhone with an OLED display and slim bezels, potentially mirroring the design of Samsung's new Galaxy S8. Many analysts have maintained a "buy" or equivalent rating on AAPL since March or earlier.

Last week, RBC Capital Markets generated headlines when it outlined the potential benefits of a completely speculative Disney acquisition.


In a lengthy research note, the bank said such a deal would create a "tech and media juggernaut like no other" and instantly expand Apple's services, content, and media portfolio. Assets such as ABC and ESPN, for example, could lay the foundation for Apple's long rumored but elusive streaming TV service.

An excerpt from Daryanani's research note obtained by MacRumors:
Together, Apple and Disney would instantly have access to global distribution via Apple's installed base and the global iTunes store, and a massive library of content and studio capacity via Disney to make future movies and shows. A digital content service could be put together in relatively short order. Apple has the advantage of integrating its price to consumers with its hardware. For example, buy a new iPhone and receive a 12-month subscription to the streaming service for free.
Daryanani said the so-called "mega deal" would diversify Apple away from hardware and help the iPhone maker fulfill its goal of doubling its Services category by 2020. He also thinks it would be an appropriate use of Apple's massive cash hoard, should the U.S. ever offer a cash repatriation holiday.
A prerequisite to Apple-Disney is a regulatory environment that would allow Apple to use its huge amount of cash assets for a domestic acquisition. If a cash repatriation tax holiday results in a 9% tax on offshore cash brought to the United States, we estimate that Apple would effectively have access to cash of $223 billion. After adjusting for operational requirements, Apple should have $200 billion cash available for discretionary uses.
Daryanani said there is a "greater than 0%" chance that Apple acquires Disney, but he admitted that the odds are low at this point.

Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money" show, believes the Apple-Disney speculation was more about influencing the stock market than anything else.
"The only thing that's really accomplished by this kind of speculation? The short-sellers will be afraid to bet against Disney's stock because of newfound fears of a takeover lurking. It really does put a bid underneath, simply because it was just too juicy to ignore," Cramer concluded.
AAPL closed at $141.83 on Monday. The Walt Disney Company closed at $113.78.

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