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Apple just failed Wall Street on one key point, threatening an $87 billion bet, Gene Munster says

  • Analysts have been expecting Apple to post sales of $86.8 billion in the quarter ending in December, according to FactSet.
  • That figure is driven both by a record sales volume and a higher average price.
  • But on Tuesday, Apple revealed that its priciest phone, the iPhone X, won't be available to order until October and won't ship until November.

Wall Street's lofty valuations for Apple's holiday sales may not hold up after Tuesday's event, one industry expert told CNBC.

Analysts have been expecting Apple to post sales of $86.8 billion in the quarter ending in December, according to FactSet, up from $78.4 billion in the year-ago period. That figure is driven both by a record sales volume of 85 million phones, and an average price of $729, skewing higher than last year's December average of $695.

But on Tuesday, Apple revealed that its priciest phone, the iPhone X, won't be available to order until October and won't ship until November. That window may be a bit too tight to hit analysts' forecasts, according to Apple analyst turned venture capitalist Gene Munster.

Managing Director & Senior Research Analyst for Piper Jaffray Gene Munster
Brian Ach | LocationWorld 2016 | Getty Images
Managing Director & Senior Research Analyst for Piper Jaffray Gene Munster

"They failed in terms of getting that phone out in line with expectations," Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures told CNBC's "Fast Money" on Tuesday. "I know that that had been kind of a moving target, but that's going to have an impact on the Street's estimates on the December quarter, shifting some of those units from December into the March quarter."

Apple told CNBC that the forecast it provided Wall Street in July took all the shipping dates into account. And many analysts predicted Apple's high end phone would be delayed due to its complicated design.

Nonetheless, Apple's share price dipped slightly on Tuesday afternoon, and Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS, noted to CNBC that the "big phone is not coming out until October." Munster wrote in an email that about 10 percent of the iPhone X devices he had expected to be sold in the winter will now be sold in spring.

— CNBC's Patti Domm contributed to this report.