Survey data indicate a “significant pent-up demand” in China for Apple‘s (AAPL) upcoming iPhone 8 smartphone, Maxim Group analyst Nehal Chokshi said in a report Monday.
XAutoplay: On | OffThe data prompted Chokshi to raise his 12-month price target on Apple stock to 180 from 171, while keeping his buy rating. Apple stock was up 2.9% to close at 146.34 on the stock market today.
Maxim’s May survey data showed strong purchase intent for the iPhone 8 among a sampling of consumers. Of 197 Chinese consumers surveyed, 37.1% plan to buy an iPhone within the next 12 months. That compares with 29% in a year-earlier survey.
Chokshi believes iPhone sales in China — the world’s largest mobile phone market — will rise 170% year over year in fiscal 2018 to 80.7 million units. He is forecasting total iPhone unit sales in fiscal 2018 of 289.8 million, up 34% year over year.
Apple’s smartphone sales have lagged in China in recent quarters, but Maxim sees that trend reversing in fiscal 2018, which starts Oct. 1. The iPhone 8, expected to be announced in September, will give users a reason to upgrade, he said.
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The iPhone 8, Apple’s 11th-generation smartphone, is rumored to feature a borderless 5.8-inch OLED display, wireless charging and augmented-reality features, as well as improved cameras and processors.
The OLED screen and wireless charging features will be welcome additions, coming four and three years, respectively, after Samsung introduced them on its handsets, Chokshi said.
But the augmented-reality capabilities using depth-sensing cameras are likely to be “gimmicky,” Chokshi said.
Apple showed off augmented reality with its upcoming iOS 11 and AR Kit at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on June 5.
Apple and Ikea are launching an augmented-reality app that lets you virtually try out furniture in your home and then buy it, Business Insider reported Monday.