iPhone 5 sales to hit 170 million over next year, predicts analyst

Based on sales of past models, the next iPhone could kick up 170 million in unit sales through mid 2013, says Asymco's Horace Dediu.

Apple

Out of 200 million iPhones sold over the next year, the iPhone 5 could account for 170 million of them.

At least, that's the number predicted by Asymco analyst Horace Dediu.

Generating one of his usual market analyses, Dediu is eyeing total iPhone sales of 200 million over the next 12 months. And based on past sales, the iPhone 5 will capture around 85 percent of those.

To arrive at his figures, the analyst quoted Apple's own marketing chief Phil Schiller. Testifying at the ongoing Apple v. Samsung trial, Schiller explained the company's iPhone sales projections as such:

"Each new generation sold approximately equal to all previous generations combined."

Charting out those projections, Dediu found that the iPhone 3G outsold the original by four times and the 3GS outsold both the 3G and the original iPhone by a factor of 1.6.

The iPhone 4 beat all three of its predecessors and the 4S is about half way to surpassing the first four models in sales. Assuming the 4S stays alive at least another year, it will handily outshine the other models before its retirement.

Looking beyond the next year, the analyst believes the iPhone 5 could rack up more than 200 million in sales over its lifetime, meaning the next two years. Depending on how Apple's strategy, the iPhone's penetration, and other factors play out, the iPhone 5 may even see sales as high as 250 million.

Apple is expected to unveil its next iPhone sometime next month, with the latest reports pegging September 12 as the date for the company's annual launch event.

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