Apple sends out invites for likely iPhone 5 event
Apple iPhone 5 sales could climb as high as 10 million, and that's just in the device's first week, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.
The iPhone maker sent out invitations yesterday to a product event on September 12 in which it's expected to launch the next-generation iPhone. Previous reports had pointed to that day and also cited Friday, September 21, as the date the phone will go on sale.
With that date in mind, an investors note released today by Munster projects iPhone 5 sales of anywhere from 6 million to 10 million. That estimate covers September 21 to the end of the month.
Last year, Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S units during that phone's first three-day weekend in October. A full 10 million in sales over a little more than one week seems attainable this year, as long as there's enough supply to meet demand.
Overall, the analyst is eyeing total iPhone sales of at least 26 million units for the full September quarter, higher than the average Wall Street estimate of 22 million to 23 million.
Looking at the longer haul, J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz sees fiscal 2013 iPhone sales of 168 million, a boost from the previous estimate of 147.4 million. The analyst now believes the new iPhone won't be hindered by supply-chain shortages as previously expected. Apple's first quarter of fiscal 2013 starts next month and includes the critical holiday shopping season.
The iPhone recently relinquished the crown as the top-selling smartphone in the U.S. to Samsung's Galaxy S3. Last month, Samsung's flagship phone outsold the iPhone 4S, according to a retail check run by Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley.
But the iPhone 5 stands to upset the apple cart once again, especially beyond the United States, according to Moskowitz's analysis.
"Later this month, we expect the iPhone 5 to reaffirm Apple's leadership position in markets recently penetrated by the iPhone 4S," the analyst said in an investors note out today. "In addition, given the addition of LTE, we believe the iPhone 5 will be established as a technology leader, versus other available smartphones."