Prior to its release date, the mid-range iPhone 5C is expected to clock some one million units in pre-orders, likely beating the more high-end iPhone 5S by the end of 2013, new reports said.
According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, consumers' interest on the 5C is picking up significantly since it was unveiled last week, likely erasing earlier doubts from investors that the handset's premium price will turn off large numbers of would-be buyers.
The whole 5C packaging, Mr Munster told CNET, is the key for the budget iPhone's looming success with consumers around the world.
"It appears that colour matters to consumers and the 5C could be more popular among the total consumer base than some may have expected," the tech site quoted the Piper analyst as saying.
His predictions came as Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reported that Apple and market watchers appeared upbeat on the general prospects of the new iPhone model that the tech titan supposedly assembled to lure millions of buyers in emerging markets like China and India.
By December 2013, Apple would have shipped out around 30 million iPhone 5C, DigiTimes said, basing its estimates on alleged display panel components that the tech giant has ordered from its Asian suppliers.
Specifically, the 5C panels will come from Japan Display, LG Display and Sharp.
By yearend, "panel shipments for the iPhone 5C are expected to surpass those of the iPhone 5S," the same DigiTimes report said.
This shows that Apple is convinced that its new iPhone model will become a huge hit in countries like China. However, the report did not touch on the possibility that many buyers would look beyond the 5C due to its expensive price tag.
Reports have indicated that the 5S is only affordable in the United States, starting at $100 per unit. For the rest of the world, the cost of owning the purportedly cheaper iPhone would range from $500 to $700.
Regardless, it is expected that the iPhone 5S will ship out less compared to the 5S after its Sept 20 release date, racking up first whooping sales figures by the end of the same month, only to taper off to a total of 20 million shipments as 2013 draws to a close.
To contact the editor, e-mail: