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Bulls excited by promise of never-before-seen Apple innovations

Published Mar 13th, 2014 1:30PM EDT
iPhone 6, iPad Pro, iWatch Release Date
Image: Apple Inc.

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Apple’s unconfirmed but often-rumored new products are apparently exciting enough for analysts, who expect Apple shares to climb this year as the company announces a bigger iPhone 6 and iPad, the iWatch, a new payment platform and even an iTV in the more distant future. Apple’s stock price could grow by 20% this year, Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair told Barron’s, while revealing some details about Apple’s potential launch plans for these new products.

According to Blair, the “Big Screen iPhone 6” will measure 4.8-inch and will arrive this fall, “addressing a product gap that we [think] will drive strong adoption, particularly in Asia and at new carrier partner China Mobile.” Earlier this week, an analyst from Pacific Crest said that Apple will launch a 4.7-inch iPhone this year, which will cost $299 on-contract.

Similarly, Apple is seen working on a bigger iPad as well – dubbed the iPad Pro in some reports– which the analyst describes as an “iPad convertible or a new MacBook Air.” Blair says the product could be shown around WWDC.

The iWatch “or iBand” apparently moved “from potential to reality in January,” with Blair saying that Apple may launch the device at some point in September. The smartwatch is expected to have a curved screen and “tie-in notifications, activity tracking, and fitness/health monitoring into a platform [where] developers can create new applications.”

The new payment platform is also a big product for Apple, with Blair saying that Touch ID is the biggest clue for it. Comments from Tim Cook related to the mobile payments space, as well as several patents filed by Apple also point in that direction. Blair added that the Touch ID-based payment system will be launched at some point in fall after the new iPhones and iPads are released. Interestingly, the analyst said that all new iPhones and iPads will have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

Finally, the iTV is not expected this year, but Apple will “ultimately [be] launching a large panel, 4K television with Apple TV functionality and iOS-like applications integrated into the television. The coming for migration to 4K/Ultra-HD content, we believe, will provide Apple with a window.”

Even though Blair believes stock will go up to $650 in the following months, he says the best time to buy will be after Apple announces its Q2 FY2014 earnings report in April alongside the June quarter guide. The analyst also added that there may be several signs pointing to a weaker March quarter, including a slowdown in the high-end handset market and growth at the low-end where Apple doesn’t compete, as well as continued soft-demand for the iPhone 5c.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.