The real chance of seeing the iWatch on September 9, according to Gene Munster

Gene Munster says not to expect sapphire screens except on the 64GB iPhone 6.

Gene Munster says not to expect sapphire screens except on the 64GB iPhone 6.

Piper Jaffries analyst Gene Munster: Thanks to his endless advocacy of the so-called Apple HDTV, claiming year after year that Apple’s television set is just a few months away, Munster’s a bit of a laughingstock, even amongst the shallow knowledge pool of most tech analysts.

Instead of predicting the imminent arrival of a mythical Apple device, though, in Munster’s latest note, he’s making a far more reasonable prediction: When the iPhone 6 makes its debut September 9, only the 64GB model will ship with a sapphire glass display. And he’s got a call on the iWatch as well.

The sapphire prediction is not a contentious opinion. Despite earlier leaks, consensus seems to indicate Apple doesn’t have the manufacturing capabilities right now to ship every iPhone 6 with a sapphire glass display. In fact, the NPD Group said back in July that Apple was unlikely to ship sapphire glass displays for anything but the high-end iPhone 6.

This is the prediction Munster is now parroting to clients.

“We believe that Apple may upgrade the screen of the 64GB versions of the iPhone 6 to sapphire as an early market test to see consumer feedback for sapphire screen phones with the eventual intention of moving the whole product line to sapphire within 2 years (i.e., iPhone 7),” the analyst said in an investors report released Tuesday. “We believe that the 64GB device could make up 30 percent of units if sapphire were an additional feature based on our prior survey work from the iPhone 5S launch, which suggests that 25 percent of buyers opt for the 64GB capacity.”

Munster also believes that the iWatch has only a 50/50 shot of showing up at the September 9 event.

“Our rationale is that Apple seems less likely to launch a new product category alongside the phone when it could dilute some of the attention from the core product vs. launching alongside iPads, which are expected to get more modest updates,” he said. “Regardless, we believe that if the watch is not announced at the 9/9 event, it will be announced at an October/November iPad event and be available during the holiday quarter.”

And what about the Apple HDTV, or iTV? On that subject, Munster is uncharacteristically mum. Perhaps he’s finally given it up?

  • Rafterman00

    It sounds like he’s assuming there’s no 128GB version, which I think is a bad assumption. At least for the 5.5 inch version.

  • codeslubber

    It’s amazing how all the people who were saying the post Jobs team was going to have to prove they can innovate, have successfully been herded into making monday morning calls on things as stupid as memory amounts and screen sizes.

  • David_SC

    Yeah, at this point, I think we should just wait & see…it’s only 6 days away. I certainly wouldn’t purchase Apple stock at this point based on so many last second predictions coming in.

    Looking forward to iPhone 6 (& getting one!), but would rather see the official specs & features before I get overjoyed.

  • NitzMan

    Apple has never made a feature differentiation based on storage size before, so I don’t see them doing it now.

    • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

      As much as I want to agree with you thats not the case. The 15 and 17inch Macbook Pro were the only models that had the option of having a matte screen. Those models did not have glass covering the LCD. The 13inch didn’t have the option at all. Even if that wasn’t the case there would still be a first time for everything so never say never… and 15 and 17 models had more ram and HDD capacity options too..

      • NitzMan

        I understand that, but I was specifically referring to the iPhone.

  • Mark Jimenez

    I find it crazy and down right stupid to assume that only the 64gig model will ship with sapphire. Maybe the assuming that the 4.7 or 5.5 will ship with sapphire sounds more like apple. I think Gene needs to stop making dumb predictions regarding apple. I believe that his talents would be more suited to making predictions regarding unicorns.

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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