Apple’s Cyber Monday: What the analysts are saying – update
FORTUNE — Some Apple (AAPL) analysts didn’t wait for stores to open on Cyber Monday before weighing in on early reports that iPad sales were leading the 2013 holiday buying frenzy.
Here’s what we’ve seen so far. More as they come in.
- After spot-checking Black Friday weekend sales, Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore raised his price target to $625 from $575. “We have become significantly more confident in our near-term estimates for Apple,” he writes. Specifically, he’s looking for China Mobile (CHL) to start selling iPhones to its 940 million customers and for Apple to move up what he calls the “product ASP stack” (i.e. into higher-priced devices) with a larger screen sized iPhone 6 (4.8” & 5.5”) and a bigger “iPad Pro” (13”).
- Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster was counting heads and tweets over the weekend. In a Twitter analysis of 90,000 messages, he reports, the Pad was the most mentioned product on #BlackFriday and the iPhone for #CyberMonday. During the four hours Munster spent at the Mall of America Apple Store, traffic was up 9% over last year. Interest in the iPad Mini Retina was “better than expected,” Munster writes, and supplies of the device tight. He expects his December quarter sales estimate of 24.5 million iPads may be “conservative” (i.e. too low). Munster’s price target stands at $767.
- Not to be outdone, Global Equities Research’s Trip Chowdhry raised his price target to a Street-high $800 after visiting nine Apple Stores and five Targets and talking to “no less than 300 people.” His report from Apple Stores has the richest detail of all:
o iPad Air 128GB and iPad Mini Retina 128GB were the most popular devices
o Wi-Fi versions of iPad were out-selling Carrier versions by 3:1
o Customers chose higher memory of 128GB, as most of the customers we spoke to, said “We used to store only music before, now we store HD movies also”
o White Color iPads were preferred by females, while Space Grey iPads were preferred by males
o All the customers opted for Apple Smart Cover, with about 20% opting for leather cover
o We could not observe any significant trends among the sales of the other various iPads
o iPhone 5S sales closely followed overall iPad Sales (all version).
o iPhone 5S on AT&T continues to remain very popular, followed by Verizon, followed by Unlocked iPhone5S and then Sprint
- Cantor Fitzgerald’s Brian White, whose $777 price target Chowdhry just leapfrogged, reports on the Consumer Federation Association’s report Sunday that consumer electronics at 35% was the second-most shopped for category over the weekend after clothing (66%), and that within the electronics category, the tablet was the most purchased item (39%). “We believe,” he writes, “this increased tablet appetite is a clear positive for Apple with the recently introduced iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display, combined with the discounted first-generation iPad mini.”
- Jefferies’ Peter Misek writes: “Anecdotal reports from web traffic tracking firms indicate iPad Air and iPhone 5S are tracking better than previous launches. For example, Fiksu notes that iPhone 5s usage is tracking higher than the iPhone 5 at this time after launch. Also, the iPad Air is tracking much higher than the iPad 4 and iPad mini. InfoScout estimates that Apple products constitute 22% of Target’s Black Friday sales and that 6% of Walmart’s sales were the iPad mini.” Misek’s price target stands at $600.