It's roughly 6 months before iPhone 8 is due to be released — which history shows is a good time to buy AAPL (AAPL)

Hannah Roberts
AAPL stock pre-launch Stifel note

Business Insider/Stifel data

The iPhone 8 is expected to launch this autumn, likely in September, which is about six months away.

And that makes right now a particularly good time to buy Apple stock, according to data from Aaron C. Rakers and Joseph Quatrochi of Stifel's equity trading desk research.

In a research note seen by Business Insider, Rakers and Quatrochi record the return on Apple stock when purchased six months before a new iPhone launch (and Business Insider plotted this in the chart on the right).

On average, since the iPhone 5, they show it to be +11%. But six months before the iPhone 6 — an era-defining product for Apple that propelled the company to record sales — it returned almost three times the average at +28.3%.

And there is every reason to believe the completely redesigned iPhone 8 will perform like the iPhone 6, if not better — many Wall Street analysts are predicting an explosion in iPhone-replacement demand when the 8 comes out because Apple's iOS subscriber base (the number of people using an Apple product) is expected to be 45-50% larger than it was in 2014 when the iPhone 6 came out, according to Nomura Instinet.

As Rakers and Quatrochi put it "With expectations calling for significant enhancements to Apple’s 10th anniversary / iPhone 8, we believe ongoing leaks/speculation (positive thus far) will leave us to gauge whether this cycle will be similar to iPhone 6 cycle (e.g. shares +29 % 6 months post launch) given the significant upgrade opportunity of Apple’s +700M iPhone installed base."

 

stifel iphone pre-launch

FactSet; Stifel

The iPhone 8 will reportedly include a new kind of OLED screen allowing the phone to have a borderless, all-display front surface. This OLED model may trigger replacement demand among high-end users, especially if it comes in an all-new design with notably superior specs, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

And the premium model is expected to cost more than $1,000 (£816), according to Fast Company's Mark Sullivan in a report that lines up with many of the rumours coming out of Apple's Asian supply chain.

It's important to note that there are many drivers of Apple's stock, and no individual factor — like the launch of a new iPhone — is a solid guide to the direction of AAPL afterwards.

Generally, analysts argue that Apple's stock is a good long-term bet. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, which tends to hold on to stocks over the long term, more than doubled its stake in Apple in January this year.

That made it Berkshire Hathaway's fifth most valuable holding, and one which has so far made the holding company $1.6 billion in profit.

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