Citigroup Analyst: Oh, One More Thing …
Try as they might, financial analysts attending Apple’s (AAPL) Q2 earnings call yesterday were unable to goad company execs into giving up a launch date for the 3G iPhone. Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, and Tim Cook, the company’s COO, refused to confirm rumors that the company plans to announce the device this summer, though they did–as they always do–claim Apple has a number of exciting products in the pipeline.
And that was confirmation enough for analysts. Citigroup’s (C) Richard Gardner promptly issued a research note pitching June 9, the kickoff of the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, as the likely date of the 3G iPhones’ debut. Wrote Gardner, “We expect a steady stream of new products beginning on 9 June with a 3G iPhone and iPhone/iPod touch SDK, continuing with a refresh of the complete laptop line in July/August and concluding with a complete refresh of the iPod line in August/September.”
June 9 seems a plausible, if not bleedingly obvious launch date. Announce the 3G iPhone at WWDC, with an eye toward an official release on June 29, the first anniversary of its predecessor’s debut? That gives Apple plenty of time to reach its goal of shipping 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008. The company has so far sold 1.7 million iPhones worldwide, leaving 8.3 million more to go if it wants to hit the 10 million mark. Uncrating the 3G version of the device in early summer, perhaps in concert with a move into the massive Japanese and Chinese markets, would make reaching 10 million iPhones shipped an easy matter.