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Apple's Quarterly iPhone and Overall Sales Estimates Continue to Rise

Just two weeks ago, a suggestion that Apple could sell 10 million iPhones during the current quarter began to make its way around the Mac investor and rumor communities. At the time, the claim was significantly higher than analysts' consensus in the 8-9 million range, and was thus viewed with some skepticism.

Tech Trader Daily today reports on an Apple stock upgrade from Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall, who has done things one better by pushing his quarterly iPhone sales estimates to 11.3 million on the strength of international sales.

Meanwhile, Broadpoint.AmTech analyst Brian Marshall boosted his target this morning to $260, from $235, repeating his Buy rating. Marshall's note focused on explaining his higher-than-consensus estimate for December quarter iPhone sales: he sees 11.3 million units in the quarter, above the Street at an estimated 8.8 million. Marshall sees U.S. units down 20% sequentially, to about 2.5 million units, but with international units more than doubling sequentially to 8.8 million units.

Marshall's view has yet to spread to other industry analysts, however, as consensus iPhone shipments for the quarter remain slightly under 9 million.

Other analysts are upping their overall forecasts for Apple though, as Digital Daily notes that Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Doug Reid has boosted his sales predictions, particularly for the company's iMac line that was revamped in October. Reid's industry checks indicate very strong demand likely leading to yet another outstanding quarter for Apple.

In the wake of today's analyst upgrades, Apple's stock hit a new all-time high of $213.95 before settling back to close at $211.67.

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