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Apple shares hit record high as Wall Street gushes over iPhone X launch

  • Wall Street analysts are bullish on demand for the new iPhone X. It now in stores at a base model price of $999.
  • "We see iPhone X unlocking pent-up iPhone upgrades, especially in China," Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty writes. "Near-term, we see pent-up demand heading into a significant form factor change that is likely to accelerate iPhone unit growth."

Apple shares are surging as Wall Street is growing more bullish on the smartphone maker's iPhone X launch Friday.

The company reported better-than-expected September quarter earnings results and gave a December quarter sales guidance range above Wall Street expectations at the midpoint Thursday evening.

Apple shares hit an all-time high, opening up 3.5 percent Friday as notes poured in from Wall Street that were positive on last quarter's earnings and even more optimistic about the iPhone X.

"Apple closed FY17 on a solid note then offered healthy guidance for the first quarter of the iPhone X," Nomura Instinet analyst Jeffrey Kvaal wrote in a note to clients Friday.

"Recent supply chain improvements allay concerns of severe supply constraints. We expect consensus to come towards our high end estimates."

The iPhone X is available in stores Friday at a base model price of $999. Thousands have lined up around the world to be among the first to get their hands on the much anticipated phone.

Kvaal reiterated his buy rating and $185 price target for Apple shares, representing 10 percent upside to Thursday's close.

Morgan Stanley is confident the new higher-priced model will spur current iPhone users to upgrade.

"We see iPhone X unlocking pent-up iPhone upgrades, especially in China," analyst Katy Huberty wrote on Friday. "Near-term, we see pent-up demand heading into a significant form factor change that is likely to accelerate iPhone unit growth."

Huberty reaffirmed her overweight rating and raised her price target to $200 from $199 for Apple shares.

On the flip side, one Wall Street analyst doesn't believe iPhone X's success is assured.

While the September quarter "results were solid, we believe investors' main focus is on whether Apple can sell a $1,000 premium phone in significant quantities, something we won't have a good sense of until later this year, at the earliest," Deutsche Bank analyst Sherri Scribner wrote on Thursday. "Until then, we expect bulls and bears to remain in their own camps, with this quarter's results unlikely to sway views."

Scribner maintained her hold rating for Apple shares.

Apple's stock is up 45 percent year to date through Thursday compared with the S&P 500's 15 percent gain.

WATCH: Watch CNBC's first hands-on look at Apple's new iPhone X