Apple’s iPhone 5 unveiling this week is just the beginning

iPhone 5 Launch Analysis

Apple (AAPL) is set to finally unveil its next-generation iPhone 5 later this week, and it will be the company’s biggest iPhone launch ever according to just about every Apple analyst on the planet. In fact, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White went as far as to call it the “biggest upgrade in consumer electronics history,” in a note to investors Monday morning. But according to White, investors should strap in for a crazy ride because Apple’s iPhone event on Wednesday is just the beginning.

“All eyes turn to the ‘main event,’ but not the last event this year,” the analyst titled his research note on Monday morning. White says that while Apple is set to unveil the biggest product of the year on Wednesday, plenty more is coming from the Cupertino, California-based company in 2012.

Beyond the new iPhone, Apple is prepping a new iPod lineup and new iMacs according to recent rumors, and White says the bigger catalysts later this year will be the new iPad mini and possibly an updated full-size iPad as well. Then, in 2013, he sees a relationship with China’s largest wireless carrier China Mobile finally taking shape in the first half of the year, and a new Apple-branded HDTV may finally launch as well.

Moving back to the iPhone 5, White sees Apple selling between 5 million and 5.5 million units in the handset’s debut weekend later this month, noting that fiscal fourth-quarter sales could double that estimate.

“The iPhone 4S sold over 4 million units in the first three days, and assuming supply chain constraints aren’t a major issue and the seven country rollout ensues, we believe at least 5 million to 5.5 million iPhone 5’s can be sold in this same time frame,” White wrote. “With similar caveats, we believe Apple could sell 10 million to 12 million iPhone 5 units in 4QFY12, making our iPhone projections look conservative.”

The iPhone 5 will likely feature a larger 4-inch display, 4G LTE connectivity and a redesigned case that is taller and thinner than the current model. It is expected to go on sale beginning September 21st and preorder availability could start as early as this Wednesday.

White reiterated his Buy rating on shares of Apple stock, as well as his $1,111 12-month price target.

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