An analyst Wednesday told clients he expects a new 4GB iPhone during the first quarter, pushing sales of the popular handset to 7 million units beyond the 6.9 million iPhone 3Gs sold in 2008.
“Checks indicate a new 4GB iPhone which may be helping to increase build rates,” UBS analyst Maynard Um advised. Taiwan-based chipmakers may be preparing parts for a new iPhone, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
Unconfirmed speculation of an iPhone nano priced below the $199 8GB iPhone has swirled for some time.
In his note, Um cautioned Apple’s supply orders could change as the company considers whether introducing a new iPhone would cannibalize existing models.
Tiawan’s Economic Daily reported chips for a new iPhone could be ready by March ready for a product introduction in June.
Um said a new iPhone could boost Apple’s handset sales to around 7 million units during the first quarter with 23 million expected for all of fiscal 2009.
Apple may have sold less than 5 million iPhones during the holidays. Tuesday, Citi analyst Richard Gardner reduced to 4 million his estimate for iPhone sales during the last quarter of 2008.