An analyst believes Apple sold a total of 52 million iPhone units during the fourth quarter of 2012.
The well-connected Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities expects Apple to report positive fourth quarter earnings when it's announced on January 23. Kuo estimates Apple's "main products" such as the the iPhone and iPad experienced quarter-to-quarter shipments increases during the last three months of 2012, with the latter device said to have shipped 23 million units.
However, he warns that shipments of certain devices within the two markets may fall short of expectations. Kuo referred to supply chain checks when citing sales of 52 million iPhone units during 2012's Q4, which would represent a 93 percent increase quarter-on-quarter and a jump of 41 percent year-to-year.
The iPhone 5 is said to have sold 35 million units during the fourth quarter, but that's a 3.5 percent decrease when compared to Kuo's previous forecast of 36.5 million. Elsewhere, fourth quarter shipments of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 settled for 9.5 million and 7.3 million, respectively.
Over the course of 2012, Apple is expected to have shipped over 140 million smartphones, which has been predominately spearheaded by iPhone 4S shipments of 74 million units during the first half of the year.
Kuo's investors note comes after worrying reports relating to Apple's market performance. Amid reports of Apple decreasing iPhone 5 production due to waning demand, the company has experienced its lowest stock price in 11 months. Preceding that saw the once most valuable company in the world suffering its largest share price decrease in four years.