Apple on Wednesday unveiled the iPhone 5, and though it boasts a handful of respectable upgrades over the iPhone 4S — bigger display panel, faster processor, thinner and lighter design, 4G LTE connectivity, an improved camera — few would claim with a straight face that it’s the end-all-be-all of smartphone design. But it is an Apple device, and inevitably, it’s going to sell well. So well, in fact, that at least one analyst believes it will become the best selling electronic gadget to date.
“This is going to be the best-selling consumer electronics device of all time, bar none,” Carl Howe, an analyst with Yankee Group, told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Howe, like others, is predicting Apple will sell more than 10 million iPhone 5 devices by the end of September, which would break a sales record Apple set a year ago with its iPhone 4S model. That’s also equivalent to half as many Galaxy S III smartphones Samsung claims to have sold since launching the handset three and a half months ago.
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By the end of the year, iPhone 5 sales could be as high as 58 million, according to the average analyst estimate, as surveyed by Bloomberg. That’s a ridiculous number for such a short period of time, and also feasible. Apple has already sold out of its initial batch online; new orders are now expected to ship out in 2 weeks instead of next week on September 21.
One thing analysts are either overlooking or dismissing is Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform. For the iPhone 5 to sell as many units as analyst predict, Windows Phone 8 would have to have a relatively lackluster launch.