Analyst: iPhone 4 Sales to Top 8M this Quarter

Apple sold 1.7 million iPhone during the first three days the iPhone 4 was available, and UBS analyst Maynard Um expects that number will hit 8 million this quarter, and could top 9.8 million in the September quarter.

“As supply catches up with demand, our 9.8 million unit estimate for the September quarter is likely to prove conservative given the accelerated international launch,” Mr. Um said.

He added that Apple is currently selling through its iPhone 4 inventory as fast as they can be built.

Looking forward, Mr. Um expects iPhone 4 supplies to lag behind demand for now. “Demand continues to remain stronger than supply as most stores remained sold out or held minimal inventory throughout the weekend and Apple’s online store currently has a thee week wait time for the device,” he said. “Our anecdotal checks indicate that demand will be robust for some time as the company plans to launch in an additional 18 countries in July.”

Apple officially released the iPhone 4 on June 24 to long lines of customers, many of whom waited overnight for a chance at being among the first to get ahold of the new version of the combination iPod and smartphone. Many Apple Stores sold through their inventory on launch day, and most stores haven’t been able to keep any in stock.

The iPhone 4 includes a higher resolution multi-touch display than previous models, a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and HD video support, a front-facing camera for FaceTime video calls, longer battery life, and more.

“68 percent of iPhone 4 buyers surveyed said that Facetime was the most attractive new feature of the device. Facetime only works as an iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 feature and could lead to additional sales as family and friends purchase similar devices to take advantage of the feature,” Mr. Um said.

Mr. Um is maintaining his “Buy” rating and US$320 target price for Apple’s stock. Apple is currently trading at $266.23, down 0.47 (-0.18%).