The iPhone 5 has been a sell-out since it went on sale on September 21, and it’s still incredibly difficult to get hold of in some markets even a month later. With five million units sold, it’s the fastest-selling iPhone to date, so it’s no surprise one analyst is predicting that iPhone sales could be even better than originally expected.
Based on the number of iPhones Verizon activated last quarter, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes that non-iPhone 5 sales could be stronger that anticipated.
The carrier announced on Thursday that it activated 3.1 million iPhones during Q3 2012, which is 15% more than it activated during the previous quarter, and higher than the 2.5 million units predicted by Piper Jaffray. 651,000 of those iPhones were iPhone 5s.
Munster called these numbers “a positive read for Apple.” However, he also noted that he expects non-iPhone 5 sales to decline 35% year-on-year, leading to a 4% drop in total iPhone sales for the third quarter. Munster expects Apple to have sold 25 million iPhones in total.
Other analysts feel differently. CNET reports that a poll of analysts conducted by Fortune found forecasts ranging from as little as 21 million to as many as 32.3 million. In comparison, Apple sold 17 million iPhones in the third quarter last year, and 37 million in the fourth.
iPhone 5 sales are expected to rocket even higher in the fourth quarter, which includes the lucrative holiday period, and Munster predicts sales of around 49 million units. However, supply constraints could hold things back, which may mean that prediction is a little optimistic.
Apple will report its Q3 2012 earnings on October 25.