Could Apple Reach $1 Trillion In 2018?

Apple Inc. will become the first $1 trillion company within the next year as the iPhone X is set to trigger a “major upgrade cycle,” according to GBH Insights.

In a note, reported on by CNBC, the marketing insights firm predicted that Apple shares could trade between $210 and $230 over the next 12 months. The tech giant, which crossed the $900 billion threshold for the first time Nov. 8, currently has a market capitalization of 878.5 billion.

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GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives listed a number of factors that will drive the company’s share price over the $1 trillion threshold. Chief among them was his belief that the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X launches will help Apple to sell 258 million smartphones in the fiscal year ending September 2018, easily surpassing the record 231 million shipped in fiscal 2015.

Ives believes that the launch of Apple’s latest range of better smartphones came at a perfect time. According to GBH Insights’s estimates, a “sizeable portion” of the 350 million-plus iPhone customers currently own models that are at least two years old and due for an upgrade.

Should they opt to upgrade to the more expensive iPhone X, Apple’s revenues are set to surge. Ives predicted that the company’s average selling price will rise from $643 in fiscal 2017 to $746 in fiscal 2018, noting that 78 percent of customers are buying the higher priced $1,149 version of the iPhone X, rather than the basic $999 model.

“It all comes down to the success and elongated demand trajectory of iPhone X over the coming quarters to determine if Apple finally ends up joining the elusive trillion dollar market cap club in 2018, in our opinion,” Ives said in the note. “To this point, the first stage of the iPhone X launch is off to a great start in what will be a crucial prove me period for Cook and Apple over the next year.”

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Ives noted that a lot of the iPhone X’s success will hinge on whether it finds success in China. Apple has struggled in the world’s largest smartphone market over the past year and a half, although, according to Ives, that could all be set to change.

GBH Insights estimated that half of the 100 million iPhone users in China are due for an upgrade in the coming 12 to 18 months. Ives is confident that customer loyalty, the iOS ecosystem, technological upgrades and the iPhone X’s reputation as a high-end fashion statement will ensure that the Chinese buy Apple’s latest flagship smartphone when the time comes to upgrade.

A surge in new iPhone ownership is expected to boost Apple’s efforts to sell complimentary services, such as Apple Music, too. The company’s fast-growing services business generated $8.5 billion of revenue in the fourth quarter. Ives is confident that the segment is now capable of topping $50 billion in revenues for the fiscal year ending September 2020.

“Representing the biggest revenue driver behind the iPhone, we believe much of the incremental services growth over the next few years will come from China as the ‘halo effect’ of Apple will fully manifest itself among iPhone users, especially with the iPhone X upgrade cycle kicking into full gear for FY18 in our opinion,” Ives said.



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