Smartphone set to be released in China this month, alongside more than 50 other countries.
With supply for Apple's iPhone 5 "dramatically improved," the smartphone is selling well in a variety of markets around the globe. Analysts at investment bank Canaccord Genuity said it's found "very strong sales" of the iPhone 5 at AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, in addition to international markets.
With the iPhone 5 set to be available in 100 countries on 240 carriers by year's end (which includes one of Apple's most valuable markets in the form of China), Canaccord has increased its estimates for iPhone sales during the December quarter.
The firm now expects Apple to sell 47.5 million iPhones in the current quarter, representing an increase from its prior forecast of 45 million. It lowered its estimate, however, for the March quarter; Canaccord sees the iPhone selling 46 million units instead of 47.5 million.
"Bolstered by the iPhone 5, we believe Apple's industry-leading software ecosystem and integrated hardware experience will lead to a strong multi-year product cycle," the company said.
Canaccord also predicts strong demand for the iPhone 4/4S, with the same applying for the iPad lineup: "Our checks indicated strong sales of legacy iPhone 4/4S models, with the iPhone 4 sold out at many stores and strong Black Friday iPad and iPad mini sales".
The firm reiterated its 'Buy' rating on Apple with a share price target of $800 during December, noting, "We believe Apple’s industry-leading software ecosystem with over 200M devices already on iOS 6 and its leading hardware expertise will lead to a strong multi-year product cycle for its key products. We believe Apple is well positioned for very strong F2013/14 sales and earnings growth driven by new product introductions, including the recently launched iPhone 5, iPad Mini, recently refreshed iPad, MacBook, and iMac lineup."
Apple initially experienced well-documented problems with its supply chain, subsequently leading to a decrease in sales due to lack of meeting consumer demand. Online waiting times increased to several weeks, while the majority of stores didn't have the device in stock. In recent days, though, Apple has managed to obtain more stock of the iPhone 5 ahead of the crucial Christmas shopping period. Online ship-by dates, meanwhile, improved to become one week.
Foxconn, Apple's main supplier, had previously stated that the smartphone is the the most difficult device it's ever assembled. It also stressed that it's unable to keep up with production demand due to the handset's complexity.