Apple Inc. has broken its previous all-time sales record by selling a staggering 69 million iPhones in the December quarter, according to the latest estimates released by UBS, a Switzerland-based global financial services company.
Steve Milunovich, an analyst at UBS, wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday that the California-based technology giant is expected to have sold a total of 69.3 million iPhones in the three months to December, fueled by holiday sales of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models. The UBS estimate is beyond the Wall Street estimate of 65.5 million units for the quarter, Apple Insider reported.
Apple’s previous all-time record of iPhone sales was in the December quarter of 2013 when the company claimed it sold 51 million iPhones during the period. However, the sales figure did not meet the Wall Street estimate as investors had pegged the company's sales figure at 56.5 million units.
Apple announced on Monday that it will release the financial results for the first fiscal quarter of 2015 on Jan. 27. According to the company, it will be hosting a conference call at 2:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. ET). The upcoming earnings call is expected to be Apple’s most significant report as it will cover the company’s performance during the three months of holiday shopping period.
It should be noted that the UBS data is about sales to the customer, while Apple’s actual number for each quarter is about shipments to its sales channels, irrespective of sales to customers, Barron’s reported, adding that there has been a major surge in demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models from consumers in China.
“Recent data suggests that iPhone demand saw outsized growth in China, even finding that China could constitute as much as 35% of shipments in the quarter compared with 22% a year ago,” UBS' Milunovich wrote. “China Mobile's distribution agreement with Apple was signed in late Dec 2013 and Apple began shipping the iPhone 6/6+ in October, so it seems reasonable that demand in China surged relative to other regions – which our iPhone study also found.” UBS has maintained a “buy” rating on shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) with a 12-month price target of $125.
On Wednesday’s close, Apple shares were up $1.49, or 1.4 percent, at $107.75.