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Analyst Daniel Ives is the latest to lower his sights for Apple, after other firms trimmed their expectations for the iPhone maker.
Though the newest iPhone models, 6S and 6S Plus, just hit the market, Ives said his bets hinge on the iPhone 7.
"This is a seminal product cycle," said, Ives, managing director and senior analyst at FBR. "Apple's growth, and really the future of the company, is going to depend on that iPhone 7. Can we see a 260, 270 million unit number [of sales]?"
Despite Apple's voluminous cash pile and massive user base, shares have declined 20 percent since April 28. Concerns about trouble at iPhone suppliers egged on the decline.
Ives said he remains bullish that the stock will navigate the choppy waters in the next quarter and beyond. But he recognizes others are in the opposite camp.
"As an analyst, realistically, you can't put the smoke and mirrors on," Ives said. "You have to recognize they have some speed bumps ahead."
Without a "stellar hit" mobile phone, Ives said he thinks an acquisition might bolster Apple. Apple did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.
"Even though historically they haven't done that, I think now the clock's struck 12," Ives said. "They need to make a significant acquisition."
Disclosure: FBR is a market maker for Apple. Apple is an investment banking client of FBR.