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iPhone shipments hit at least 29 million last quarter, says analyst

The forecast from Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty tops the Wall Street consensus of 26.5 million.


Apple could surprise many a Wall Street analyst with calendar second-quarter iPhone shipments of 29 million.

The shipment figure projected by Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty surpasses the consensus estimate of 26.5 million. And the number could reach much higher, Huberty revealed in an investors note released on Wednesday.

The analyst said that demand data from the company's AlphaWise Smartphone Tracker, estimates from U.S. Telecom analyst Simon Flannery, and supply chain checks by Asia/Pac Tech analyst Jasmine Lu all suggest 29 million to 32 million iPhone shipments.

Based, in part, on strong demand for discounted iPhones, Huberty said she believes Apple's second-quarter revenue and earnings will outshine the consensus forecast. The analyst is looking for revenue of $36 billlion, compared with the consensus of $35.1 billion.

However, the third quarter of the calendar year doesn't appear as rosy. Consensus estimates for the current quarter's revenue are actually too high in Huberty's opinion, especially given the history of iPhone buying ahead of a new product launch. Apple is expected to kick off its next-generation iPhone in September just toward the end of the third quarter.

Huberty is eying overall revenue of $33.5 billion to $35.5 billion this quarter, below the consensus of $37.8 billion.

Peering into her crystal ball, the analyst expects Apple to launch the iPhone 5S, a mid-market iPhone, and a new iPad in the fall. A potential Apple television or iWatch would follow in 2014.

Apple reports second-quarter (fiscal third-quarter) results on July 23.