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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be better prepared this time around to meet run-away demand for its latest iPhone, as the Cupertino-based company rolls out the long-awaited smartphone around the world at an astonishingly brisk pace that could see double the sales of the previous iPhone its first week on the market, and 33 million units shipped in the current quarter, analysts believe.
The iPhone 5 ships on September 21 in the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and Britain, and will hit 100 countries by year’s end. The speed with which Apple is rolling out the new model in various markets implies that supply constraints that afflicted previous releases will not be an issue going forward.
While some Apple watchers have said the new iPhone lacks a “wow” factor to motivate existing iPhone owners to upgrade, Apple shares jumped in the hours following the phone’s announcement on Wednesday. Conversely, when the iPhone 4S was announced last October, shares moved lower.
But though the iPhone 4S initially received a muted response after its release, it ultimately exceeded sales expectations and helped boost Apple shares, up now 80 percent from their October 2011 price.
Analysts expected supply constraints for sensors in the iPhone 5′s new touch-screens to hold back initial sales, but now that that appears unlikely to be the case, they’re raising their forecasts for Apple’s share price by as much as $200, to between $750 and $1,000.
Brokerages have raised their sales estimates for all iPhone models in the September-ending quarter from anywhere between 3 percent and 36 percent, with most expecting sales in the range of 20-30 million. Many are projecting sales of 8-10 million units of the new iPhone by the end of the month.
With the latest iteration of its monster-selling smartphone out just before the holidays, Apple is well-positioned for an upside in the December quarter, especially if it also releases the rumored iPad Mini next month, as speculated.
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