Apple may have sold record 55 million iPhones last quarter

Apple headquarters (Cupertino, Clifornia, exterior 001)

Wall Street analysts have been foaming at the mouth since Apple announced it would be discussing its Q1FY14 financial results on January 27. Record holidays have become the norm for the company, but with two new iPhones released last fall, this one is expected to be over the top.

How much over the top? Well Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty says she believes Apple may have sold between 54 and 55 million iPhones last quarter. That would be a new record for the company, and a nice jump from the 47.8 million handsets it sold over the holidays last year…

CNET has more from Huberty’s research note:

“Of course, those record unit sales for last quarter will dip from their holiday highs as we move through 2014.

Huberty’s crystal ball sees 45 million units in iPhone sales this quarter, followed by 35 million in the June quarter. The analyst didn’t share any predictions for the September quarter, but iPhone sales typically sink early on as buyers hold off purchases in anticipation of a new iPhone. Sales then shoot up once the new phone debuts later in September.”

The analyst also speculates on Apple’s plans for 2014:

“And what will Apple have in store for this year? The iPhone 6 likely will have a larger screen to better compete with Samsung’s huge lineup, according to Huberty and many other Apple watchers. But there will certainly be more in store.

“We believe Apple is likely to launch new Internet-based services this year, including the potential for a mobile payments platform as early as the developer conference in June, in our view,” Huberty said. “Most importantly, we believe Apple will start to monetize services on top of the many assets they have, such as iBeacon, fingerprint sensor, 575M+ credit card accounts, and homogeneous iOS installed base. iWatch or a larger iPad form factor would also push consensus estimates higher.”

Huberty comes to the same conclusion that many other pundits have: that Apple will release a larger iPhone. Rumors have been bouncing around the web since last summer that Apple is working on a larger handset, and many believe it’ll hit the market this year. But back to the numbers.

Between the success of the iPhone 5c and 5s—both of which have been top-selling devices at US carriers—and the redesigned iPad Air, Huberty thinks that Apple could also post a record revenue for last quarter of $58 billion. A $60 billion quarter? Tune in to find out if she gets it right.