J.P. Morgan analysts predict Apple will release its sixth-generation smartphone in September.
The new iPhone is expected to keep Apple at the top of the food chain in the smartphone wars.
“We think that a combination of revolutionary hardware enhancements and software-driven services (i.e. Passbook, Maps, FaceTime over cellular) stand to reaffirm the iPhone as the leading smartphone in C2013 ….,” J.P. Morgan wrote in a report, which rates Apple an “overweight” and establishes a December 2013 price target on the stock of $695.
A new iPhone could help Apple stay current as an increasing number of rival devices like the Samsung Galaxy S III flood the global smartphone market.
Analysts often refer to the sixth-generation device as the iPhone 5, though Apple may well call it something else. Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 4S, was released in October 2011 and sales have been strong. Over the last two quarters, Apple has sold a combined 72 million iPhones.
“We expect Apple to continue outperforming on both top- and bottomline growth metrics relative to the peers as the companys rapid growth phenomena of the iPhone and iPad intensify,” J.P. Morgan wrote.