Morgan Stanley expects strong FQ3 iPhone sales

|By:, SA News Editor

39M iPhones (AAPL +0.1%) will be sold in the June quarter, better than a 35M consensus, according to Morgan Stanley's AlphaWise tracker.

The MS forecast implies 25% Y/Y unit growth, better than FQ2's 17%. Analyst Katy Huberty thinks strong promotional activity for cheaper iPhones (pressuring ASPs, but boosting units) is helping.

Though AlphaWise's methodology lends itself to criticism - per MS, it "compiles sell-through data using Web search analysis" - its track record is solid. It forecast 40.6M FQ2 iPhone sales vs. actual sales of 43.7M and a 38M consensus, and 50.5M FQ1 iPhone sales vs. actual sales of 51M and a 53M consensus.

The MS report comes shortly after BlueFin Research reported checks point to healthy iPhone/iPad build activity ahead of fall refreshes.

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