Apple has kicked off 2012 at a tremendous pace, and that has led investment group J. P. Morgan to raise its projections for iPhone and iPad sales in the first quarter of 2012. In a research note released today by analyst Mark Moskowitz, the firm has increased its prediction for iPhone sales in the first quarter to 31.1 million, a sizable increase from its original estimate of 28.1 million handsets. First-quarter iPad sales are now projected to reach 13.8 million, up significantly from 10.1 million.
These higher projections reflect the entire year, with iPhone sales expected to reach 138.2 million, up from 128.7 million. iPad sales are also projected higher at 69.6 million, a sharp increase over the original prediction of 58.6 million. Moskowitz also noted his expectations for a new, thinner iPhone with LTE later this year, a MacBook refresh in the next three months, and the possibility of Microsoft Office for iPad. Apple shares are currently trading at roughly $628, nearly a $10 increase over market close yesterday.
“Looking ahead, our assumption is that a new iPhone 5 with a thinner body and LTE capability will be launched in [the second half of 2012], which should sustain the iPhone’s above-peer growth trajectory,” Moskowitz said. “With Microsoft Office, we think that tablets could evolve into productivity devices instead of just content-driven experiences, and thereby open up the 40 percent of global PCs to the tablet market for substitution, which we think would favor Apple given the absence of compelling tablet alternatives so far.”