Should You Wait Before Jumping Onboard the iPhone 5 Train?

Whew! With all the talk leading up to the release of Apple's (NAS: AAPL) iPhone 5, it felt like the buildup to the "Who shot J.R.?" extravaganza. For investors, though, all the smartphone hype has led to a quandary of sorts.

As Fools around the globe are aware, a sound investment strategy requires in-depth analysis and a long-term perspective. Thing is, the lead-in to the iPhone 5 unveiling led to what turned out to be a fairly decent pop in Apple share prices the past month. So what's an investor to do now?

The momentum builds
Predicting iPhone 5 sales is hardly an exact science. But if the Street is anywhere close, Apple could see as many as 23 million of the new phones flying off the shelves this quarter. If you ask Piper Jaffray analysts, the 23 million figure may actually be on the low end of projections.

Assuming Apple is able to avoid supply issues, Piper Jaffray believes sales of 6 million to 10 million iPhone 5s in the final week of September alone is likely.

Those are amazing numbers to say the least, but hardly impossible. In fact, if the past month's 6% run-up in stock price is any indication, investors expect those kinds of results.

Nokia's (NYS: NOK) attempt to put a dent in Apple's iPhone 5 announcement with the introduction of its new Lumia 920 running Microsoft's (NAS: MSFT) Windows 8 OS was an abject failure. Nokia was never going to seriously threaten Apple, of course. But it had a chance to at least make some waves at last week's Nokia World Event. Turns out Nokia dropped the ball by providing analysts and industry insiders with little, if anything, tangible.

The more legitimate risk -- as is always the case with such lofty expectations -- is a backlash should the iPhone 5 underwhelm consumers. The initial iPhone 5 sales will be there -- there's no stopping that train, even if it were warranted. But as the saying goes, the higher you fly, the farther you fall.

What to do?
If your investment objective is to add a growth-oriented industry stalwart to your portfolio (the 1.61% dividend yield is a little icing on a tasty cake), Apple remains a sound long-term option. Period. What happened today -- good or bad -- should have little bearing on your decision.

Why? Because making long-term investment decisions based on the "release of the century" is best left to day traders and short-term market-timers.

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Fool contributorTim Bruggercurrently holds no securities positions, including any mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft and Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Microsoft and Apple and creating a synthetic covered call position in Microsoft and a bull call spread position in Apple. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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