Analyst: Expect 10M iPhone 5 Sales Before October

Following Apple's announcement that it sold more than 2 million iPhone 5 pre-orders during the first 24 hours of availability, Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley estimated the company could sell as many as 10 million units by September 29. He previously predicted Apple would sell 6 million iPhone 5s by that date.

Analyst expects 10 million iPhone 5 sales by Sept 29Analyst expects 10 million iPhone 5 sales by Sept 29

"Given the record pre-orders, we believe Apple could ship 9 million to 10 million iPhone 5 models by September 29, or the last day of [fiscal 2012], versus our initial 6 million estimate," Mr. Walkley said.

According to Mr. Walkley, the iPhone 5's larger screen form factor, LTE support, longer battery life, and new A6 processor are helping drive demand for the new model.

Apple began pre-order sales at 12:01AM pacific time last Friday, and within an hour the company had already sold through its allotment and pushed new order ship times out two weeks. Shoppers that placed their order before that will get their new iPhone on September 21, which is also the day the new model will be available in stores.

That quick sell through could indicate limited supplies, although Mr. Walkley think it instead is an indicator of high customer demand.

Our checks indicate very strong pre-orders for the iPhone 5 at all three U.S carriers. In fact, by Sunday online stores for all three U.S. carriers indicated it will take 2-3 weeks to receive the new iPhone versus it shipping by the initial September 21 date. We believe the extended ship date indicates record demand versus limited supply, and our checks with stores suggest record demand.

Lines are already forming outside Apple's stores for this Friday's launch. At least some of the line waiters, however, are using the opportunity as a marketing event.

Even still, it looks like iPhone 5 buyers are still willing to wait in line for days to be among the first to get their new smartphone. That high demand will help push Apple's earnings above Wall Street estimates for the quarter, according to Mr. Walkley.

"Our checks this weekend indicated record pre-orders for the iPhone 5 at all three U.S. carriers along with solid sales of discounted legacy iPhone models at AT&T," he said. "Given these checks combined with Apple’s plans for an aggressive iPhone 5 ramp to 240 carriers in 100 countries by year end, we remain confident in our above consensus December quarter iPhone estimates."

Mr. Walkley is maintaining his "Buy" rating and US$797 target price for Apple's stock. Apple is currently trading at $693.39, up 5.11 (0.74%).