Sprint iPhone 5 could sell 1.2 million units in 2011, analyst says
Apple's iPhone 5 could be a sales boom for Sprint to the tune of about 1.2 million units, according to one analyst.
Of course, at this point, an Apple iPhone 5 on Sprint, the third-largest carrier in the U.S., is all speculation. Apple hasn't announced when its fifth-generation iPhone is coming out, what it will look like or even what it will be called (though iPhone 5 seems to be everyone's favorite guess). And neither Apple nor Sprint have confirmed the rumors of a Sprint iPhone of any kind coming any time soon.
But speculation, rumor -- it can sure spread like wildfire. On Tuesday, based largely on the excitement over the iPhone 5 on Sprint rumor, Sprint's stock rose 10%.
In a note to investors sent out Wednesday, and reported on by the blog AppleInsider, Maynard Um, a UBS Investment Research analyst, predicted that Sprint would sell 1.2 million iPhones in the last three months of the year if it landed the next Apple handset.
"We believe that the addition of Sprint as a carrier for iPhone is a logical extension of Apple's strategy," Um said in the note, according to AppleInsider. "The company has increasingly moved away from the exclusive carrier model and has been using country and carrier expansion as one way to drive growth of its iPhone & iPad lines."
Hey, there's a new rumor -- the iPad coming to Sprint. Um said that he expected an iPad 3 for Sprint in 2012, that is, if Sprint can indeed get the iPhone in 2011, the report said.
Um might not be wrong. The iPhone has only grown in sales. In the second quarter of this year, Apple sold 20.3 million iPhones, a nearly 150% increase over the same quarter a year earlier, and almost 2 million more than the previous quarter.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: Two iPhone fans compare the Apple iPhone 4 and a first-generation Apple iPhone in front of Manhattan's Fifth Avenue Apple store after the release of the iPhone 4 on June 24, 2010. Credit: Emmanuel Dunand / AFP/Getty Images