I'm not so sure Apple is moving to 3-year iPhone cycle: Analyst

Betting on the iPhone?

RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani on Tuesday cast some doubt on a report that says Apple will take longer to roll out substantial iPhone updates.

On Tuesday, Nikkei Asian Review reported the tech giant plans to release full-model upgrades once every three years, extending the current two-year cycle. Apple did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

That report points to a number of items that have been validated by numerous sources, Daryanani said. Those include that the coming iPhone 7 will have the same form factor as the previous model, and any updates will be largely incremental.

"From that perspective I would say they have a lot of the right data points. I'm just not sure if Apple is truly going to a conscious three-year cycle as you go forward though," he told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

In RBC's view, the iPhone 7 can generate low-single-digit revenue growth, which could help shares of Apple grind higher to $120 to $130 a share. The stock is down 5 percent to around $100 a share this year.

Asked whether the Nikkei report suggests Apple is targeting the low end of the market, Daryanani said that has already been confirmed by the company's release of the iPhone SE, a 4-inch model that retails for less than the large-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

But based on available data, RBC believes Apple will launch an iPhone 7 "pro" model to tap into demand for high-end handsets, Daryanani said.

Disclosure: RBC Capital Markets makes a market in the securities of Apple.

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