(By Balachander) An analyst on Thursday reportedly reduced its estimate for Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) sales of iPhone for the quarter ended September based on supply constraints.
Barrons reported that Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster now expects iPhone sales of 25 million, which is down 2.2 million units from his previous estimate for the just concluded quarter.
Munster said supply of the iPhone 5 is "extremely limited" based on his "checks" of the in-store pickup status at 100 U.S. Apple retail locations over the past week, according to the report.
The analyst may cut his 49-million unit iPhone estimate for the December quarter if supplies remain constrained for the device for more than the next 3-4 weeks, Barrons reported.
Meanwhile, investment guru Marc Faber told CNBC that "a lot of stocks have peaked out," specifically mentioning Apple. "I just want to have a lot of cash because I think that within the next six to nine months we can buy just about anything 20 percent lower than it is now," Faber said in a live interview.
According to research firm IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS) iPhone 5 will drive record Apple smartphone sales in the final three months of 2012. The thinnest and lightest smartphone ever will spur Apple's smartphone shipments by 60 percent to 149 million units in 2012.
IHS had said last month that Apple's release strategy plays a major role in quarter-on-quarter surge in iPhone sales, as prospective buyers hold off on purchasing during the time leading up to the rollout of the new device.
The new phone will be released with just over a week left in the third quarter, so most of the iPhone 5 sales bump in 2012 will be seen in the final quarter of the year, IHS had said in September.
When combined with normal seasonality, IHS predicts the fourth quarter this year will be Apple's biggest quarter for iPhone sales in history.
iPhone continues to be a flagship product for the world's most valuable technology company. Since the release of the original iPhone in January 2007, sales have grown to represent more than 40 percent of Apple's total revenue.
Since the launch of the original iPhone, Apple has updated the product annually (e.g., iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S) and has redesigned the phone every 2 years (e.g., iPhone 3G and iPhone 4).
The technology behemoth's newest iPhone features an Apple-designed A6 chip, with speed twice as fast as the previous version. Other features include: the new 4-inch Retina display, while the current version has 3.5-inch display. iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6, the world's most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new user features.