Buoyed By iPhone 5c/5s, Year-Over-Year iPhone Sales Could Be Up 28% This Quarter

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Although since the iPhone 4S, Apple has launched new iPhones in the fourth fiscal quarter of every year, that’s not where the quarter they sell the most iPhones. It’s simple logistics: not only does Apple usually only have a couple weeks left in the fourth quarter to fit as many sales as possible into, but supplies of new iPhones tend to be constrained.

That’s not to say, though, that this won’t be a banner quarter for Apple. Thanks to the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, Apple will see year-over-year sales of iPhones increase by 28%, says one analyst.

According to a note provided today to clients by Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty, data provided by the firm’s AlphaWise Smartphone Tracker said that it had already seen a bump in iPhone sales this quarter, and expected Apple to sell 34.5 million iPhones this quarter.

Here’s how the software works, according to Huberty: “Our tracker includes Web search data through Sept 15, which incorporates the iPhone announcement on Sept 10 and the start of pre-orders on Sept 13. Our tracker includes the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, China and Japan, which are all countries launching the new iPhones this week. Our model projects demand for the rest of September assuming demand trends post last week’s announcement follow a similar pattern as 2012.”

According to CNN Money’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt, that’s 11% better than the consensus forecast of 31 million, and 28% higher than the 26.9 million Apple sold last quarter.

Take that, Samsung! Except, unfortunately, the only company doing better than Apple beating expectations is its arch-rival: Samsung is expected to sell 47% more handsets this quarter than they did a year ago.

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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