Analyst: iPhone 4S could sell 25 million units by end of 2011

The complaints from the news media and Internet pundits last week about Apple not updating the case of the iPhone 4S may have proven to be moot. Businessweek.com reports that financial analysts are predicting that Apple's latest smartphone will be a huge sales hit in 2011. One analyst, Mike Abramsky of RBC Capital Markets, believes that Apple may have already sold nearly three million iPhone 4S units this past weekend. Apple has already admitted that it has sold over one million iPhone 4S phones via pre-order on Friday, its first day of sales. Another analyst, Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray Cos, believes that Apple could sell as much as 25 million iPhone 4S units by the end of 2011.

There may be a number of reasons for increased sales for the new iPhone. One is that people have been waiting much longer for this version compared to previous iPhone launches. That could have caused a lot of people to hold off on upgrading their phones so they could wait and get the iPhone 4S. Another reason is that the iPhone 4S is being launched by three wireless carriers at the same time; AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Indeed, Jeffrey Fidacaro, an analyst at Susquehanna International Group, believes that Sprint could add as many as six million users a year by selling the iPhone 4S.

Finally, the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs the day after Apple launched the iPhone 4S last week could also serve to boost sales. William Choi, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, claims, "It’s the last phone developed with Steve Jobs at Apple. There are definitely some sentiments at play here." Apple stores, along with the retail stores of the other wireless carriers, will begin to sell the iPhone 4S on Friday.

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