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Apple Analysts Still Optimistic as Supply Problems Alleviate

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The iPhone 5 will launch in China soon. In an interview, the Chairman of China Telecom said, "We hope to offer it this year but, what I say doesn't matter."

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Despite the recent decline in Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock price, many analysts remain confident in the stock's ability to break above its all-time high closing price of $702.10 in September. Worries about the recent management change and concerns about supply chain problems have caused the stock to drop more than 20%. However, the supply chain problems seem to have begun subsiding, keeping analysts optimistic.

AppleInsider reported today that Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has conducted nightly inventory checks at 100 Apple stores. Severe supply constraints reduced the availability of the iPhone for all three major US carriers, but this week Munster found the availability of the iPhone 5 above 20% for the first time. This past Wednesday, 24% of Apple stores had iPhone 5s available for Verizon (NYSE:VZ) users, 54% for AT&T (NYSE:T) users, and 84% for Sprint (NYSE:S) users. He believes it will be another two to three weeks before consistent availability occurs for AT&T and Verizon.

According to Investor's Business Daily, Munster gives Apple a price target of $900 and predicts Apple will sell 45 million of all iPhone models in the December quarter.

Walter Piecyk of BTIG research shares the same view on the iPhone 5 supplies. In an article by Barron's Tech Trader Daily, Piecyk said, "product supply no longer appears like it will be an issue this quarter and there should be some carryover demand from a supply-constrained iPhone 5 launch in September." He highlighted the shipment times for the iPhone 5 have dropped from three to four weeks to about one week for most of the North American carriers. However, Apple's online store has kept its wait time of three to four weeks, and the reason remains unclear.
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