Apple will sell a record-high 45 million iPhones in the December quarter following the release of its sixth-generation device, analyst Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee, the privately-owned brokerage firm, predicts.
"We anticipate that iPhone 5 will drive a significant product cycle and put a lot of pressure on competitors," Wu wrote Thursday.
The tech titan sold a record number of smartphones after it released the iPhone 4S last fall, even though the gadget only had one relatively significant upgrade: Siri, Apple's voice recognition system, the analyst pointed out.
Wu said he anticipates that the next iPhone – often referred to as the iPhone 5 – will include three major enhancements. "(1) a larger screen; (2) 4G LTE wireless; and (3) advanced software features including Maps with turn-by-turn navigation and native integration with social networks including Facebook and Yelp."
The analyst noted his firm's projection of 45 million units sold in the December quarter is far above the previous record of 37 million iPhones in the same period last year.
Apple is holding a special event in San Francisco on Sept. 12, at which time the company is expected to announce its next iPhone.