Several analysts revealed their sales predictions ahead of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone launch weekend. Apple’s iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S will be available in 11 different countries beginning Friday.
Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster offered a fairly conservative opening weekend sales estimate of 5 million to 6 million units, which includes the iPhone 5C preorders that started September 13. Munster based his estimate on survey work that found demand for the new iPhone models was slightly below last year’s demand for the iPhone 5. Apple sold 5 million iPhone 5 units in last year’s launch weekend.
Munster estimated that Apple will sell about 2.5 million iPhone 5S units and 3 million iPhone 5C units. The analyst also believes that Apple has already sold approximately 1 million iPhone 5C units through preorders.
The Piper Jaffray analyst also noted that Apple is likely to sell all of its available iPhone 5S models over the weekend due to limited supplies. Munster thinks the limited supplies of the iPhone 5S are due to production yield issues with the new fingerprint scanner technology. This is in line with earlier claims made by Jefferies analyst Peter Misek’s supply chain sources who reported “terrible” yields on the new fingerprint scanner last week.
Due to supply constraints, Munster expects the iPhone 5S to sell out before the weekend is over. Although this will limit Apple’s total iPhone sales, the analyst pointed out that investors should be more concerned if supplies do not run out, since that would indicate weak demand.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo offered a more optimistic sales prediction for Apple’s launch weekend, Apple Insider reports. In a note to investors, Kuo forecast total iPhone sales of 6 million to 8 million units.
However, like Munster and Misek, Kuo believes supply constraints will limit sales of the iPhone 5S. He expects the iPhone 5S to account for 35 percent to 45 percent of total sales, with the iPhone 5C accounting for 55 percent to 65 percent.
Apple’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C models will hit store shelves Friday morning at 8 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Here’s how Apple traded over the past five days.
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