Analyst: iPhone 5 Pushing Q4 Sales to 27M Units

Demand for iPhone 5 has Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu raising his total iPhone sales estimate for Apple's fourth fiscal quarter from 26 million units up to 27 million. The December quarter, however, won't see as big a boost in sales thanks to parts availability issues.

Shaw Wu: Apple to sell 27 million iPhones in Q4Shaw Wu: Apple to sell 27 million iPhones in Q4

"For the second time since iPhone 5 was announced, we are raising our estimates and price target," Mr. Wu said. "We now believe that Apple will likely ship 27 million iPhones for the September quarter, up from our recently raised view of 26 million. However, we are raising our December quarter forecast by only 500k units to 46.5 million (from 46 million) due to our continued supplier checks indicating production constraints on new in-cell touchscreens."

The company sold 2 million iPhone 5s during the first 24 hours of pre-order availability, and analysts expect interest to remain high among consumers despite some lackluster reactions from technology writers.

We find it interesting that many tech blogs and reviewers panned the iPhone 5 saying it 'lacked the wow factor' similar to the iPhone 4 that was plagued by 'antenna-gate' and the iPhone 4S which was a relatively "minor" and "disappointing" update with Siri as the key new feature. The previous iPhones went on to sell record number of units and we believe iPhone 5 will likely see a similar result. We continue to believe iPhone 5 will put a lot of pressure on competitors where it will incrementally capture a portion of customers attracted to Android/Windows smart phones with larger screens and/or 4G LTE wireless.

Apple and its cell service partners quickly sold through their entire pre-order inventory, which means shoppers that didn't order early will have to stand in line this Friday if they want to get an iPhone 5 on launch day.

For Apple's September quarter, Mr. Wu is now estimating US$436.6 billion in revenue, up from $36 billion. For fiscal 2012, he's estimating Apple's revenue will hit $157.1 billion, up from $156.6 billion.

Mr. Wu currently has a "Buy" rating and $840 target price for Apple's stock. Apple is currently trading at $699.51, down 0.27 (0.04%).