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Apple on the brink of another ‘super cycle’

With the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple is poised to begin another `super cycle`, analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald told CNBC.

“We believe Apple is in the midst of another `super cycle` that begins with the rapidly growing `phablet` market via the iPhone 6 Plus and extends into the wearable category in early 2015 with Apple Watch,” said Brian White, managing director and global head of technology hardware, software and equity research at Cantor Fitzgerald.

White drew parallels with the success Apple enjoyed after launching the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. He said the technology giant, which has fallen out of favor with some investors due concerns it had lost its ability to innovate, is in for another period of strong performance.

Apple dominated the global smartphone market for years after launching the original iPhone in 2007. However, later models weren`t as successful and the firm lost considerable market share to Samsung, which tapped consumers` desire for large-screened smartphones far earlier.

Four years after Samsung, Apple has finally made its foray into the `phablet` market – a hybrid of a phone and tablet – with the launch of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus last week. It also unveiled the long-awaited Apple Watch, which won`t be available until 2015.

Pre-orders for the two new iPhone models totaled four million units in the first 24 hours, twice the number of iPhone 5 pre-orders received in 2012, smashing all previous records.

“In our view, Apple demonstrated to the world last week that it is innovating like never before, expanding its addressable market with new product categories, strengthening its digital matrix, and eyeing new categories,” said White. He expects Apple`s price-to-earnings multiple to expand and sees the share price rising 21 percent to $ 123 over the next 12 months.

White is equally bullish on Apple`s foray into the wearable tech sector: “We believe Apple Watch will prove to be a home run with the fastest, new product, first-year unit sales volume in the company`s history, giving Apple a foothold in what we believe will be a large, wearable tech market,” he said. He also expects that a more robust Apple TV is on the horizon.

But not all analysts agree are upbeat.

“It`s right that it is a new category [for Apple] but it`s not right to say it`s similar to an iPhone or an iPod or iPad because those products were totally new,” Mark Newman, senior analyst at sell-side research and brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein told CNBC.

“I don`t really think `super cycle` is the right word, but the iPhone 6 is going to be a significant product. I think this year they are going to gain a bit of share back from Samsung… it will make a pretty big impact,” he added.

Although Apple`s fresh products could see the firm regain market share, Newman pointed out that some of the damage was not repairable.

“Some of it they can gain back but some of it has gone forever… It was their mistake and incompetence because they refused to understand what the customers were telling them,” he said, referring to demand for larger-screened phones.Copyright 2011 cnbc.com

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