Apple sold about 61 million iPhones during the first half of this year.
That's less than one-quarter of the sixth-generation iPhones Apple could sell over its life cycle, according to at least one analyst projection.
The yet-to-be-released iPhone 5 could sell up to 250 million units, FBR Capital analyst Craig Berger forecasts as reported by Forbes.
The smartphone also is expected to bolster Apple's bottom line, generating profits of more than $50 a share, the report said, citing Berger.
Apple is expected to release the new iPhone during an event on Sept. 12, according to numerous media reports, though the consumer electronics giant hasn't confirmed anything.
Wall Street analysts certainly have high expectations.
“While predicting the timing of the iPhone release is topical for investors, we continue to believe that whether iPhone 5 launches in the September or December quarter is largely irrelevant to the overall story, which we believe is that the new phone will be the largest consumer electronics product upgrade in history," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote, according to an article from MarketWatch.