Will the iPhone 5 outsell Samsung’s Galaxy S III?

Now that we have the official confirmation of Apple’s iPhone event taking place at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts next Wednesday, the second part of iMore’s report mentioning September 21 availability (it’s a Friday) is almost certainly a done deal as well. Which means Apple will get to sell the iPhone 5 (or whatever you think it’s going to be called) for just ten days during the September quarter.

Despite this, resident Apple analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray is convinced that the device will shatter all previous sales records, moving as much as ten million units in its first week of sale, enough to make Samsung’s lead short-lived and re-take the crown of the best-selling smartphone in the United States…

In a note sent to clients today, Munster wrote (via AppleInsider) that Apple could sell a total of between six million and ten million new iPhones in the final week of September, provided the company’s suppliers keep up with pent up demand.

That would result in an 8 percent upside to Wall Street’s current projection of $35 billion in revenue, and 12 percent upside to earnings per share of $8.46.

All told, Munster believes the iPhone 5 will push total iPhone sales in the September quarter to as high as 28 million units, up from market consensus of between 22 million and 23 million units.

Just for comparison, Apple reported sales of four million iPhone 4S units in its first three days of availability last October. Its predecessor, the iPhone 4, sold 1.7 million units in its first three days of availability in June of 2010.

Note that Gene Munster is the same analyst who opined that the next iPhone will mark the biggest consumer electronics launch in the history, likening the device to “the mother of all upgrades”.

At any rate, ten million units of anything in just seven days is a pretty tall order, even for Apple.

Playing to Apple’s favor, the company will likely start to immediately accept pre-orders for the iPhone 5 on September 12, leading up to general availability the following Friday, September 21.

The iPhone 5 should also launch on all major telcos in the United States (AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint, with the likely exception of T-Mobile USA) and perhaps a number of regional carriers that now offer prepaid iPhones.

And if last year’s iPhone 4S introduction is anything to go by, we can expect this year’s iPhone to hit simultaneously both the United States and a bunch of major oversea markets.

Much more than being a top business priority, hitting the ten million milestone is now a matter of honor for Apple.


This is why.

Because Samsung reported nine million Galaxy S III pre-orders worldwide during the two weeks following its May 3 introduction.

No other phone model was ever able to come close to challenging Apple’s iPhone launch numbers.

The South Korea-based conglomerate later reported ten million shipments in the first 55 days of the S III’s availability, leading up to a total of 50 million smartphones in the June quarter for the Galaxy maker.

And earlier today, another analyst guesstimated based on “channel checks” that the S III surpassed the iPhone 4S in August to become America’s top-selling smartphone. It’s probably the first Apple’s phone was not the top-selling smartphone in the U.S. market.

Yes, it’s a question of honor, indeed.

What do you think?

How many iPhone 5 sales will Apple report for the launch weekend?

Is it going to easily beat the Galaxy S III and become America’s top-selling smartphone for quarters to come?

Place your bets down in the comments.