iPhone 5 sales could hit 10M within days of launch

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Apple's media invite hints at an "iPhone 5."

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) could sell as many as 10 million iPhone 5s in the week after the company begins selling the gadget, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. The figure, reported by a number of outlets, highlights the continued hype around the product, and expectations that there is significant pent-up demand for Apple's newest smartphone.

"We believe that if the 21st is the actual ship date, Apple could sell 6 million to 10 million iPhone 5s in the final week of September barring supply issues," Munster wrote in a research note, according to AllThingsD, which noted that Apple sold 1.7 million iPhone 4s during that gadget's first weekend of sales and 4 million units of the iPhone 4S during that device's first weekend of sales.

Apple yesterday confirmed reports that it would hold a media event Sept. 12, and the company is widely expected to announce its new iPhone during the event and begin selling the device Sept. 21. Although the company didn't provide any details, the image in the invitation to media included a shadow of the number "5," which many believe indicates Apple will announce the "iPhone 5." Some had expected Apple to use its "new iPad" naming convention with the iPhone and simply call the device the "new iPhone," but the appearance of the number "5" appears to indicate that Apple will call its new iPhone the "iPhone 5."

According to a wide variety of reports, Apple's iPhone 5 will sport a 4-inch display, bigger and taller than the current iPhone's 3.5-inch display. The phone also will reportedly include a smaller dock connector, an earphone jack at the bottom of the device, a metal backing and LTE network support.

Apple's iPhone 5 launch date sits amid a surprisingly wide range of smartphone announcements. Samsung and Sony Mobile Communications recently introduced new Android and Windows Phone 8 smartphones, and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) today took the wraps of its own new Windows Phone 8 smartphones. Further, Motorola Mobility, HTC and Amazon have each scheduled new product launches in the days ahead.

That the launch of the next iPhone has generated so much interest comes as little surprise. Apple is the world's most valuable company, and its iPhone represents more than half its overall business. Moreover, Apple is the world's second largest smartphone vendor (just five years after jumping into the space) and is the world's third-largest overall phone manufacturer (when both feature phones and smartphones are included).

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this iMore article

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