Over the coming 12 months, the stock of Apple (AAPL -1.38%) is headed more than 20% higher from Tuesday's closing price. So says Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives, who raised the stock's price target to a street-high $600 on Wednesday, and that could be just the beginning. Ives' bull case has Apple stock climbing more than 40% to $700, pushing its market cap to nearly $3 trillion.
He cited Apple's "once in a decade" opportunity in the coming 12 to 18 months, saying that more than one-third of iPhone users could upgrade. The ongoing rollout of 5G, the next generation of cellular technology, will be the catalyst for this upgrade cycle. This would amount to as many as 350 million users of an estimated 950 million buying the upcoming iPhone, in what many analysts have dubbed the "super cycle."
Ives called it a "defining chapter in the Apple growth story," and he believes the release of the iPhone 12 represents the most significant product cycle for the company since the iPhone 6. Investors may recall that the iPhone 6 family of devices were the best-selling iPhones of all time, so the bar is being set high.
Apple's services business will also be a key driver over the next couple of years, the analyst said, generating more than $60 billion in revenue in 2021. This is a testament to the company's ongoing ability to monetize its existing customer base, and it remains a linchpin of the company's future growth.
Ives also cites the impressive contributions from the wearables segment, which he calls "eye popping." After selling 65 million AirPods in 2019, that number could soar to 90 million this year, an increase of 38%.