Apple confirms the next iPhone will be delayed

The company had announced its flagship product in September in past years

Following its blockbuster third-quarter earnings report last week, Apple made an unusual announcement, confirming its new iPhone would be delayed several weeks.

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Speaking on a conference call with investors, CFO Luca Maestri said the new smartphone would come later than usual. "In addition, as you know, last year we started selling new iPhones in late September," Maestri said in his prepared remarks. "This year we project supply to be available a few weeks later."

WHERE DOES APPLE MAKE IPHONES?

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When asked a follow-up question, Maestri reiterated he was referring to the new iPhone, rumored to be called the iPhone 12.

In previous years, the Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has announced its new iPhones in September, often going on sale just a few days later. However, there have been exceptions, with the iPhone X available for sale in November 2017 and the iPhone XR made available for sale in October 2018.

Last year, the company unveiled three new models, with the iPhone 11 starting at $699.

Despite the rare public acknowledgment from the world's most valuable company, that did not stop several Wall Street analysts from raising their price targets on Apple.

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Monness Crespi Hardt analyst Brian White raised his price target on Apple to $470 from $370 following the earnings, highlighting the fact the iPhone returned to revenue growth.

"Although the current economic environment remains challenging and there remains risk to the strength of this recovery, we believe Apple’s strong balance sheet, iconic brand, rapidly growing services business, pipeline of innovations, hardline stance on personal privacy and leadership role during this crisis will allow the company to emerge from this downturn stronger," White wrote in his research note.

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White added Apple has historically "included the launch of an entire new iPhone family in September or began a staggered launch."

Shares of Apple were surging on Monday morning, gaining 3.3 percent to $439.16.

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