Analyst: Apple's iPhone 5s top-selling smartphone across Tier 1 U.S. carriers

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5s is off to a bang at U.S. carriers and has been the top-selling smartphone at all four of the Tier 1 carriers during the past three months, according to a new report from Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley. The analyst also said that Apple's new lower-cost iPhone 5c has been in the top three spots for all four of the carriers as well.

From September through November, the iPhone 5s was the best-selling smartphone at Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), Walkley said. The only other smartphone in the top three spots at the carriers in that timeframe was Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S4, the report noted.

"Our surveys indicated continued strong sales of the iPhone 5s, as it was by far the top selling smartphone at all four tier-1 U.S. carriers and at most channels where the smartphone launched globally," Walkley wrote in a note to clients, according to AllThingsD. "Our surveys also indicated steady iPhone 5c sales with the smartphone's color options and more affordable price point proving popular with its intended audience."

Given that performance and improved supplies of the 5s, Walkley raised his fiscal first-quarter 2014 iPhone shipment estimate to 54 million units, up from 52 million. Apple's fiscal fourth quarter mostly coincides with the calendar year fourth quarter. A report on Thursday from Counterpoint Research said the 5s was the world's best-selling smartphone in October.

Additionally, Walkley wrote that he now thinks Apple could sell as many as 175 million iPhone units in its fiscal 2014 year, which ends at the end of September 2014, up from his previous estimate of 171 million. He wrote that in addition to stronger than expected initial sales of the 5s, Apple's apparently imminent launch with China Mobile will help propel sales, given China Mobile's 740 million total customers.

China Mobile said last week it has not yet finalized a deal with Apple to support the company's iPhones on its network, though a preorder page posted Thursday on China Mobile's website clearly shows an image of the iPhone 5s.

A recent Wall Street Journal report, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said that Apple's iPhone launch at China Mobile is expected to start later this month, around a Dec. 18 China Mobile event. Previous Chinese media reports have pegged Dec. 18 as a launch date for China Mobile's TD-LTE service.

For more:
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this CNET article
- see this AppleInsider article

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