Next year, Apple is expected to see a substantial boost to its bottom line thanks to the company's deal with China Mobile to bring the iPhone to the world's largest mobile operator.
In fact, the worst case scenario for Apple is that it will only see modest sales next year in light of the China Mobile deal. In reality, however, iPhone sales could - and likely will be - much, much stronger.
Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty recently did the math and came up with three "cases" for Apple, the worst of which suggests that the company will sell only 5 million units through China Mobile in 2014. 12 million units is the middle number in Huberty's three cases for China Mobile's first year, "all based on an AlphaWise survey of Chinese customers in large and medium-sized cities."
Huberty's 23 million bull case assumes a larger addressable market (279 million) and includes respondents who were otherwise not planning to purchase a smartphone in the next year. The bear case of 5 million assumes a much smaller addressable market (121 million) and excludes customers considered likely to change their mind.