“BTIG Research’s Walter Piecyk, who has a Buy rating on Apple shares and a $198 price target, today writes that although sales of the iPhone have been weaker than expected, and are likely getting weaker still, the average selling price of the thing may end up being better this quarter than the Street expects, which could help sales and profit,” Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s.

“Citing data collected by a firm called Wave7 Research, Piecyk notes both that Apple likely is taking share of the U.S. smartphone market’s sales in the March quarter, and also that its mix of units is tilting toward the newer iPhone X and iPhone 8-Plus,” Ray reports. “Apple’s share of total industry sales in the U.S. looks to end up 56% this quarter, he writes, up from 55.5% in the December quarter. That’s better than the quarter-to-quarter drop that the company suffered in Q1 last year and the year before, he notes.”

Ray reports, “The upshot: ‘If Apple was able to beat our ASP estimate by $10 (which still implies a 5.2% decline) it would lift revenue and EPS by $500 million and $0.02, respectively.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple (AAPL) shares closed today up $7.83, or 4.75%, at $172.77.

As we wrote last week, “We won’t know for sure until we see this quarter’s (Apple’s fiscal Q218) results in May, since iPhone sales actually did increase YOY when you compare apples to apples, as opposed to comparing the 13-week 2017 holiday quarter to a 14-week 2016 holiday quarter and calling it a ‘decline,’ when it wasn’t.”

iPhone X was the best-selling smartphone in the world in the December quarter according to Canalys, and it has been our top selling phone every week since it launched. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus rounded out the top three iPhones in the quarter. In fact, revenue for our newly launched iPhones was the highest of any lineup in our history, driving total Apple revenue above our guidance range… The iPhone X was the most popular and that’s particularly noteworthy given that we didn’t start shipping until early November, and we’re constrained for a while. The team did a great job of getting into supply demand balance there in December. But since the launch of iPhone X, it has been the most popular iPhone every week, every week sales. And that is even through today, actually through January… We feel fantastic, particularly as it pertains to iPhone X. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 1, 2018

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s iPhone X sales continue to disappoint, some analysts say – March 22, 2018
Ignore the iPhone X naysayers – March 10, 2018
Will the naysayers admit they were wrong about Apple’s iPhone X? – February 5, 2018