iPhone sales could push Apple higher: Analysts

Behind Apple's correction

Apple continued its downward spiral Tuesday, but at least one analyst sees the company's recent rout as a buying opportunity.

The tech giant's stock is in correction territory after dropping below its 200-day moving average Monday.

While many investors have concerns about tough comparisons between the upcoming fourth quarter and last year's fourth quarter, Robert W. Baird analyst Will Power said he thinks iPhone sales will be a catalyst that pushes shares higher.

"The company had an enormous iPhone shipment quarter in that quarter a year ago and I think there are questions and concerns as to whether they can really beat that. We think they can and as a result, combined with other factors, we like the stock here on this weakness," Power said Tuesday in an interview with CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

Apple is expected to release its iPhone 6S this fall.

While "S" cycles tend to be more evolutionary than revolutionary, the company's shares often perform fairly well the month leading into it, added Power, who has an "outperform" rating on the stock. Couple that with rumors about Apple TV and other opportunities in 2016, and he said he likes the setup heading into next year.

Customers looking at the Apple Watch display in an Apple store in New York.
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An Apple store in Hangzhou, China.
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Analyst Steve Milunovich, who has a "buy" rating on Apple, also sees the new iPhone as a catalyst.

While there will clearly be some slowdown in revenue expansion, iPhone sales growth could beat expectations, he told "Squawk on the Street" Tuesday. He's anticipating Apple will sell 245 million of its smartphones next year, a 6 percent increase.

Milunovich, of UBS, also has confidence that there is downside support for the stock, and noted that it is trading at about 12 times next year's earnings.

"Unless the fundamentals are really different from what we think they are, there is not much downside. We're just waiting for a catalyst on the upside. We think some iPhone growth could be part of that catalyst," said Milunovich.

"Even though the 6S doesn't have a lot of new features, I think investors to some degree make a mistake and think there is not going to be sales."

Milunovich pointed out that Apple has said only 27 percent of its iPhone users have upgraded. Therefore he thinks there will be good upgrade demand.

Apple in correction territory

He also sees demand coming from new customers, especially in China—where he thinks about half of the sales will be from first-time buyers.

"Frankly, China is the key to how Apple does next year and we are still relatively optimistic about that," Milunovich said.

That's because UBS doesn't think China's recent stock market turmoil will have a significant economic impact since only about 7 percent of the Chinese population owns stocks, he added.

Lack of innovation?

Meanwhile, David Trainer, CEO of New Constructs, sees more downside in Apple and recently sold his position.

Not only has the stock reached a technical tipping point, but there has been a lack of innovation coming out of the tech giant, he told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Tuesday.

"They have a very loyal customer base because of their innovation in the past but the longer and longer between ... innovations, the less loyal the customer base can be expected to be," he said. "When that customer base is no longer as loyal, they can see a major drop in profitability and I think that can have some significant repercussions on the stock."

Buy Apple for long-term: Pro

Oliver Pursche, CEO of Bruderman Brothers, agrees innovation has suffered at Apple, but thinks the company is about to get back on track.

He said issues like reality catching up with outsized expectations will cause shares to fall further in the short term. However, he views the selloff as a buying opportunity for longer-term holders.

"You've got a stock that's very attractively valued on a PE and a price-to-cash flow basis, tremendous cash hoard. They've got a rising dividend, share buybacks and they've got some interesting product launches coming out," Purshe said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

Couple that with speculation that Apple will spin off or do something with iTunes and "I think Apple is a great holding for someone who is looking for growth in their portfolio on a safe basis."

Disclosures: Steven Milunovich and his family own shares of Apple. Apple is an investment banking client of UBS. Within the past 12 months, UBS Securities LLC has received compensation for products and services other than investment banking services from Apple. Apple is an investment banking client of Robert W. Baird. Oliver Pursche owns shares of Apple.