Anticipation for the recently released iPhone 4S slowed sales of its predecessor enough for Apple to miss Wall Street expectations for its fourth quarter. But with the 4S officially at market in the States and its international roll-out ramping up, next quarter’s results are likely to be very different. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the company’s earnings call, “We’re very confident that we will set an all-time record in the December quarter for iPhone sales.”
And already analysts are nodding in agreement.
In his latest note to clients, UBS analyst Maynard Um predicts that strong demand for the iPhone overseas could easily double last quarter’s sales of 17 million, perhaps driving them well over 40 million.
In Apple’s third quarter, the split between U.S. and international iPhone sales was roughly 27.5 percent to 72.5 percent. If the company sells 11.7 million iPhones domestically in the upcoming quarter, as Um predicts, and the split remains roughly the same, we can expect a significant spike in worldwide iPhone sales in the December quarter.
“While the timing of the 70 [upcoming international] launches could have some impact on sales ahead of the launch, the US/International split, and hence, our estimates look conservative,” Um says. “A similar 27.5 percent U.S. / 72.5 percent international split from this quarter would imply 42.5 million units in CY4Q or an upside of 14.5 million iPhones.”
Many analysts expect iPhone shipments in the 25-30 million range for the December quarter, so Um’s prediction is quite bullish. That said, it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. Apple did sell more than four million iPhone 4Ss in the device’s first weekend at market.