Despite some calling Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone a “minor” update, Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee raised his December quarter forecast for iPhone sales by 500,000 units. As such, he now believes Apple will sell 46.5 million units before the end of the year.
For the current quarter, Wu now believes Apple will sell 27 million units, up from his original forecast of 26 million.
According to the report:
In Wu’s view, those who do not think Apple’s latest handset will be a success “underestimate” the iPhone 5. He thinks the device will place a great deal of pressure on competitors, and will help Apple capture customers who may have otherwise purchased an Android or Windows phone with a larger screen or 4G LTE connectivity.
Wu isn’t the first analyst to raise expectations since the iPhone 5 was announced on Sept. 12. Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster expects the number of iPhones sold in the September quarter to reach 27.2 million, which is an increase from the 22 million originally predicted.
If Apple does indeed sell 46.5 million iPhones between October and December, it will be Cupertino’s best quarter on record. The current record is 37 million iPhones sold during the last quarter of 2011.
The iPhone 5 launches in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and the United Kingdom on Friday, Sept. 21.
The new handset will roll out worldwide to 22 more countries on Sept. 28, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.