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iPhone rings up quarterly sales of at least 12 million, says analyst

With record sales at all three U.S. carriers, the iPhone likely took in U.S. sales of at least 12 million.


Apple may have sold more than 12 million iPhones in the U.S. alone during the last three months of 2011, says Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley.

Sales heated up across all three of the phone's U.S. carriers. Although Verizon kept pushing its new 4G LTE phones, the carrier racked up record iPhone sales of 4.2 million for the quarter, more than double the number sold in the previous quarter.

AT&T's iPhone sales likely hit around 6 million, estimated Canaccord Genuity in an investor's note released yesterday. However, fellow investment firm Susquehanna had forecast as many as 7.2 million iPhones sold by AT&T alone during the quarter.

Finally, iPhone newcomer Sprint may have sold around 2 million units, according to Walkley.

Although the sales estimates add up to around 12 million, the analyst said he believes the number shipped into the retail channel could have been as high as 14 million during the final quarter. And expanding his crystal ball, Walkley said Apple likely sold more than 30.5 million iPhones globally.

BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk said he believes that last quarter Apple sold a record 35 million iPhones around the world, with almost 40 percent, or between 13 million and 14 million, in the U.S. alone.

Breaking down the results in the U.S., Piecyk noted Verizon's disclosure yesterday that it sold 4.2 million iPhones last quarter, beating his estimate of 3.75 million. AT&T may have sold as many as 7 million iPhones, said Piecyk, while Sprint likely took home 2 million in unit sales. Altogether, that adds up to more than 13 million, higher than BTIG's August forecast of only 10 million.

So are these analyst estimates on the money? We'll know for sure when Apple releases its quarterly results on January 24.