Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched the iPhone 5 in mainland China exactly two weeks ago, though it’s important to remember that the tech giant also started selling its iPad Mini in the country seven days earlier. While Apple’s newest tablet won’t have quite the same effect on its earnings as the iPhone, it’s still important to track demand of the device.
Originally reported by Barron’s, Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets reiterated his $1,111 price target on Apple today, citing “an insatiable appetite in both Hong Kong and China for the iPad mini.” In his note to investors, White mentions his “checks indicate that the iPad mini sold out in Hong Kong this week for nearly all models, while the fourth generation iPad remains in stock,” adding that the Mini saw “stock-outs” in Greater China.
The bullish Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) analyst added that “our research suggests the iPad mini is currently more popular […] than the fourth generation iPad.”
Let that soak in for a second.
In the research note, White also discussed how store openings may play a role:
“With the December opening of a new Apple retail store in Hong Kong (Causeway Bay) and a September opening in Kowloon, Apple now has three stores in Hong Kong versus just one store a year ago. […] In the December quarter, Apple opened new retail stores in Shenzhen, Chengdu and Beijing to expand its presence in China. As such, Apple now has eight retail stores in China versus five stores a year ago.”
More importantly, White also stated this:
“Prior to the China launch, we indicated that the iPad mini would be the “next big thing in China” and we believe this phenomenon is starting to develop. In our view, the smaller form factor and lower price point will allow Apple to sell the iPad mini in more meaningful volumes versus the regular-size iPad.”
On the subject of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s latest smartphone launch, the analyst was equally as optimistic, indicating that “the iPhone 5 has recently become the most popular high-end smartphone at the resellers that we spoke with.” This was previously not the case with the iPhone 4S, which saw the “Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note I/II [become] more popular […] in recent months.”
Let us know your thoughts on Brian White’s note below, and if you share his enthusiasm for AAPL shares. For more coverage, continue reading here: