Should Apple launch its fifth version of the iPhone in September the company is likely to sell 6 million to 10 million devices in the last 10 days of the month, according to an analyst.
Based on numerous news reports pointing to a September launch of the iPhone 5, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimated that Apple will sell 26 million to 28 million devices in its September quarter. That projection is well ahead of current estimates, which account for slowing iPhone sales and roughly 22 million to 23 million units in the quarter.
While our model, along with most of the Street, assumes an October launch, we believe that a September launch could result in the final 10 days of the month generating 6-10 million iPhone 5 unit sales, which would likely shift out of December. We believe if iPhone 5 launches in September, Apple could sell 26-28 million units in the quarter (this takes into account iPhone sales slowing dramatically from September 12-20, which is announcement to availability). This would imply 8% upside to the Street's current $35 billion in revenue and 12% upside to EPS of $8.46.
For Apple, a September launch would allow it to top Wall Street estimates. In recent quarters, Apple fell short of projections even though it still has raked in tons of cash.
In the big picture, the iPhone 5 timing of units isn't that big of a deal---unless you hold Apple shares. Munster noted that he expects the iPhone 5 to be "the largest consumer electronics product upgrade in history."