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Rivals are catching up, but the iPhone 5 will still be the fastest-selling smartphone ever

After months of leaks and speculation, Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 is finally official. The new iPhone features a larger 4-inch display, a new A6 processor, an improved 8-megapixel camera and a completely redesigned unibody aluminum and glass case that is just 7.6 millimeters thick. Like every iPhone before it, the iPhone 5 was met with mixed reactions from the press and consumers. Also like every iPhone before it, the iPhone 5 is expected to overcome negative reactions and become a huge success.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani on Thursday issued a note to clients stating that the iPhone 5 will be a huge catalyst for Apple. In his note, Darayanni mirrors earlier sentiments in stating that the new iPhone will be Apple’s fastest-selling smartphone ever. Despite only being available for about a week this month, the analyst sees Apple selling as many as 10 million iPhone 5 handsets this quarter and as many as 60 million units in 2012.

“We estimate that [Apple] could ship 8–10M units in the Sept-qtr and do 50M+ units in Dec/March-qtrs as the company benefits from what may be the biggest upgrade in its history,” Daryanani wrote.

The analyst does note that smartphones from rivals such as Samsung (005930) are catching up to the iPhone, but he says no other company offers a complete package that approaches Apple’s.

“The difference between the iPhone and peers (Galaxy S-III, HTC (2498)) has been decreasing in recent years,” Daryanni said. “For investors who are discouraged that iPhone5 has many of the features available in existing competitor phones, we note that Apple seems to put them together better than its peers. These include a better camera, better battery-life, metal casing, and nano-SIM.”

RBC maintains its Outperform rating on Apple stock and Daryanni increased his price target to $750 from $700.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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