Analyst: iPhone 5 sales could hit 10 million in first week

Summary:Apple has managed to increase, often double, its previous sales targets during the first week and weekend of each smartphones' launch. With estimates of 6-10 million sold in the first week; actually, it's quite plausible.

With the iPhone 5 (or the 'next iPhone' -- or whatever, it doesn't actually matter) expected to be announced next week at an Apple press conference, one Apple analyst claims the technology giant could surpass, if not double, previous initial sales targets.

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Apple invitation to the media. Credit: CNET

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said in a research note today (via AllThingsD) that "if [September 21] is the actual ship date, Apple could sell 6 million to 10 million iPhone 5's in the final week of September barring supply issues."

Apple sold 1.7 million iPhone 4 devices during its first three days of availability; and sold four million iPhone 4S devices a year later in the first weekend alone.

10 million in a week is... well, it's a lot, but it's a wide estimate so don't go too overboard. Plus, many are holding out upgrading their phones until the iPhone 5 is out, so a sudden rush marking a larger number of buyers could potentially tip into Munster's estimates. 

According to AllThingsD, Wall Street is expecting 22-23 million iPhones to be sold during the September quarter alone, but crucially it's a good way-away from the Christmas holiday sales where many previously-bought contracts end and sales typically rocket through the roof. 

J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz said also today in a research note that the new iPhone 5 will "not be hampered by chip and display-related supply chain shortages" as previously expected.

He expects sales volume to bellow by late September for the new iPhone, and a similar patch of high volume selling for the dubbed-'iPad mini' in early October, adding: 

We are not concerned about a "mini" (iPad) encroaching on Apple's current tablet penetration opportunities. We think the iPad mini will target the budget-conscious consumer or the e-reader focused end user, implying the device offers incremental penetration opportunities. Meanwhile, we do not expect enterprise- and education-based end users to gravitate to the smaller screen size of an iPad mini. 

Moskowitz hedged and avoided giving defined figures, but gave revised estimated that Apple will sell in total by the end of fiscal year 2013 around 168 million iPhones and 91 million iPads.

By comparison, Apple sold more than 85.9 million iPhones in total in the U.S. since its launch in Q2 2007 up to Q2 2012, according to earlier court filings that were  outed during the Apple v. Samsung patent ding-dong

"We expect both product lines to offset weakness in Mac and iPod," he said. iPods are also expected to make an appearance at the September 12 announcement, while a separate dedicated iPad mini event is pegged for early October.

Sister site CNET will, of course, be there live-blogging the event.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, Smartphones, Tech Industry

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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