Apple is gearing up to release its new iPhone in the fall, likely in September, but even still one analyst thinks the company is going to beat Wall Street estimates for iPhone unit sales during the second quarter – Apple’s Q3 – this year. In a note published by Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, a well known Apple tracker, she says she believes Apple will report 39 million iPhones sold in the three months ending in June when it publishes its next earnings report, crushing Wall Street estimates of 35 million units sold.
That would be the second time in a row iPhone unit sales beat Wall Street estimates. Last quarter, Apple’s Q2, the company reported 43.7 million iPhones sold beating Wall Street estimates of 38 million units. It would also represent considerable iPhone unit sales growth over last year, when Apple reported 31.2 million iPhones were sold during the quarter. Growth is increasingly important for Apple, particularly as it enters China and as it competes more directly with Android phone makers selling super low-cost handsets.
Huberty thinks Apple’s large bump in sales, and the reason it may be the Street consensus, is due to the frequent and easy-to-find sales for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. The iPhone 5s is just $79 on contract at RadioShack right now, for example, and Apple recently held a major promotion where owners of older iPhones could trade them in for newer devices.
Apple hasn’t yet announced when it will report its Q3 earnings, but expect them around late July.