What you need to know
- Analyst Gene Munster is warning investors about the stock impact from the 5G iPhone.
- The partner believes that carriers are overpromising 5G coverage.
- Apple will still be a top performer, regardless of the iPhone, argues Munster.
Anticipation continues to grow for the 2020 iPhone which is expected to be Apple's first iPhone with 5G. It will spell a huge connectivity shift for the company and allow users to take advantage of blisteringly fast wireless speeds. That, however, is completely dependent on wireless carriers getting 5G rolled out across the United States, and according to Loup Ventures managing partner Gene Munster, that is exactly why investors should be cautious about the company's stock performance next year.
In an interview with CNBC, Munster said that investors should not expect the 5G iPhone to boost Apple's stock price as much as has been speculated, and he blames the over projection on the misunderstanding of how much 5G coverage there actually will be next year for consumers.
"The first year of 5G for the iPhone will be a disappointment for investors ... ultimately, this is a massive opportunity for Apple, huge play on 5G, but it's going to take a while for networks to roll out coverage."
Verizon has reportedly promised that half of the U.S. will receive 5G coverage by 2020, and according to 9to5Mac, other carriers have claimed that their 5G coverage could reach as high as 75% by the end of next year. Munster refutes these projections, saying that they are "optimistic at the best case".
Disappointing sales would rest "largely on the shoulders of the carriers who have talked a lot about the 75% coverage by the end of next year. I think that that is optimistic at the best case."
If the carriers do happen to deliver, however, the demand for a 5G iPhone is growing. In a recent survey conducted by Piper Jaffray, "of the 1,050 current iPhone owners who responded, 23% said they would upgrade to a $1,200 5G iPhone, up from 18% of participants a few months earlier".
Regardless of how things shake out with the 5G iPhone and the carriers, Munster is still bullish on Apple's performance overall for next year, speculating that the current $246 stock price could reach as high $350 to $400.
"I think that this is going to be one of the best performers, if not the top tech performer next year as well."