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With today’s announcement that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will unveil their next generation iPhone at a September 12th event, the speculation of when the next iPhone will be released is over, and the speculation as to how many units will be sold has begun.
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Analysts predict Apple’s newest smartphone will be a big success. In a research note published today, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote that the phone could sell six to 10 million units once it hits the market September 21st.
But that depends on actual consumer excitement over the larger, four-inch screen phone and its 4G LTE connectivity, nano-SIM card, and possibly thinner battery.
Desire for the iPhone 5 seems to be similar to previous Apple phones. According to a survey from TechBargains, 74% of iPhone 4 owners surveyed said they plan on buying the iPhone 5, along with 71% of 3GS owners, 64% of 4S owners, 38% of Blackberry (NASDAQ:RIMM) owners, and 32% of people currently without a smartphone.
The iPhone 4S, thought of by industry experts as a transitional model, sold 4 million units in its first weekend on the market. Compared with those numbers, the six to ten million units predicted by Munster do not seem impossible, especially since Apple has increased, and often doubled, its sales target during the first week of each previous smartphones’ launch.
If past results are any indication, the iPhone 5 could be one of Apple’s biggest product launches ever; every new iPhone model has recorded stronger sales than the previous model.
Once the iPhone 5 enters the smartphone market, analysts believe Apple could sell 250 million units over the course of its lifetime, and Wall Street expects the phone to push total iPhone sales during for the quarter to 22 to 23 million units.
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