Gene Munster: Apple’s iPhone 5 is the ‘Rolex of smartphones’

September 14, 2012, 11:29 AM UTC

Fit and finish: iPhone 5

FORTUNE — Reacting to what he perceives as a lack of excitement within the “media bubble” that surrounds the iPhone 5, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster felt obliged to set his clients straight.

“We view the iPhone 5 as the Rolex of smartphones in terms of quality and build,” he wrote in a note issued early Friday, “while the majority of other phones are dominated by lesser quality plastic and feel more like Timexes. Why would someone buy a Timex when they can have a Rolex for the same price?”

Reiterating his conviction that Apple (AAPL) will sell 8-10 million iPhone 5s in the first week and 49 million iPhones next quarter, he adds:

“We believe that pictures and video of the new iPhone 5 do not sufficiently convey the level of upgrade the product represents. We were able to see and hold the device following the launch and believe there are two aspects that will pleasantly surprise consumers. First, we believe the actual feel and build of the phone is beyond that of any prior iPhone iteration. Second, we believe the weight difference between the iPhone 5 and the 4S is meaningful and consumers will notice the difference in their pocket, despite the larger screen size.”