New iPhone record spurs Apple shares to top $700

The new iPhone record caused another record to be broken. Apple stock shot higher than ever before.

Reuters
Apple stores worldwide are gearing up for the launch of the iPhone 5. Pictured above: Apple employees wait for customers inside a new Apple store in Strasbourg.

Quick: What do iPhone sales and Apple stock have in common? 

Both keep going up, up, up. Twenty-two years after Apple first went public, shares in the company hit $700 yesterday, a record for the Cupertino tech giant. And Apple stock could climb higher still. According to Scott Martin of USA Today, of the 40 analysts covering Apple, 39 have rated it a "buy" or "strong buy," with only one analyst recommending a hold. The reason? Apple is expected to ship a whole lot of iPhone 5 handsets. 

As we noted yesterday, Apple has announced that 2 million iPhone 5 pre-orders were placed in the first 24 hours the device was available. That's approximately double the number of pre-orders placed for the iPhone 4S (which, admittedly, was less of an overhaul and more of a touch-up to the iPhone 4), and so high that Apple was forced to acknowledge that some pre-orders may not ship until well into October. 

"Given the record pre-orders, we believe Apple could ship 9 million to 10 million iPhone 5 models by Sept. 29, or the last day of fiscal 2012, vs. our initial 6 million estimate," Michael Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, told USA Today. 

So yes, it's going to be a nice couple months for Apple and its shareholders. But is the iPhone 5 a good enough device to warrant all this hype? Well, that's a different question entirely. Early hands-on tests (we've got a compendium here) were largely positive: Reviewers liked the amped-up processor, the bigger and better screen, and the snappy iOS 6 operating system. 

Still, Apple didn't exactly reinvent the smartphone with the iPhone 5, which bears a pretty close resemblance to the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4. "The device," Ellyne Phneah of ZDNet recently noted, "is a disappointment because it merely matches up to its competitors and showcases nothing revolutionary." 

Do you agree? Drop us a line in the comments section. And to receive regular updates on how technology intersects daily life, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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