Despite comments by some techies that Apple's newly launched iPhone 5 is boring, analysts forecast the latest mobile unit would be a bestseller. Piper Jaffray Cos analyst Gene Munster forecast that the iPhone 5 could sell up to 10 million units by the end of September.
In comparison, rival Samsung's Galaxy S III smartphone took 50 selling days before it breached the 10 million mark, Mr Munster pointed out.
Launched on Wednesday, the iPhone 5 is the first change to the mobile phone's hardware design since 2010. Observers said the new design may entice techies who have been holding off the purchase of a new smartphone amid tighter competition in the $219.1 billion smartphone market.
Among the potential rivals of the iPhone 5 are Samsung's S III, Google's Motorola Mobility, Nokia's NOKIV and HTC's 2498.
Investors are monitoring how the iPhone 5 sales would be. When Apple reported disappointing sales in July, shares of the company found by Steve Jobs fell but had gained 64 per cent this year ahead of the new iPhone release. As of 1:58 p.m. of Wednesday in New York, Apple shares rose less than 1 per cent to $663.96.
Canalys analyst Chris Jones said Apple shares' performance depends heavily on how fast customers would clear iPhone 5 units from store shelves, so Apple must ensure the product must meet buyer's expectations.
Among the features of the iPhone is a thinner body, larger display and ability to connect to 4G data networks as well as faster processing. Its Siri virtual assistant is also more powerful than previous versions.
The iPhone 5 weighs 112 grammes, is 8.6 millimetres taller than the 4S but is 18 per cent thinner with a thickness of 7.6 mm. Its resolution display is 1136 x 640.
However, The Wall Street Journal noted that the new device is hardly a great leap forward since it lacks features considered standard in other smartphones such as digital payments, touch to share, face unlock, wireless charging and dynamic home screens.
Despite these missing features, observers believe it could still be warmly accepted by phone buyers similar to the launch of the iPhone 4S in October 2011 when Apple more than doubled sales to 37 million iPhones for the December quarter.
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