Apple will sell 30 million phones in Q4 of 2011: analyst

Apple is poised for another blockbuster quarter, thanks in no small part to the iPhone 4S. 

The new Apple store in Grand Central Station, in New York. Apple will unload 30 million iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2011, an analyst has estimated.

Apple has already posted its best November sales results in history. And now one analyst is estimating that the Apple bonanza will continue through the whole of the fourth quarter of 2011. According to AppleInsiderMaynard Um, an analyst at UBS, has estimated that Apple will sell 30 million iPhone handsets this quarter, most of them iPhone 4S handsets. 

In related news, this month AT&T predicted that in Q4, it would sell more than 6.1 million smartphones – the carrier's previous single-quarter record. 

The iPhone 4S, which was released on October 14, won high marks from critics, who praised the iOS 5 interface, the processing speed, and the design. 

"Though enthusiasts might be bored of seeing the same hardware for more than a year, this still feels like the phone to beat in the looks department," one critic noted. "The glass back — while incredibly prone to shattering on impact — feels as sleek and sexy as ever. The metal antenna and solid, machined buttons feel high-end, expensive even. If this were a car, it would be a Mercedes."

Early sales of the device were notably strong. According to Apple, within three days of the launch more than 4 million iPhone 4S units had been unloaded, a company record. By comparison, it took Apple 74 days to sell the first million units of the original iPhone, and three weeks to sell three million units of the iPhone 4. Apple, in other words, is ascendant. 

But even Apple has not been able to match the upward trajectory of Android, Google's mobile OS. Approximately 550,000 Android phones are activated every day, and Android has bested Apple in both sales and app downloads. Meanwhile, the most recent Nielsen report has Android phones accounting for a whopping 43 percent of the US market.

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