Analyst Predicts 'Monster' iPhone 5 Launch in 2012

The iPhone 5 will launch in August and have a completely new form factor, an analyst has predicted.

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray expects the launch to be a "monster", according to a note he sent out to investors this week and reported in Apple Insider.

The reasoning behind Munster's prediction is that clamor for the iPhone 4S has been massive, despite the fact that it wasn't a complete overhaul of the iPhone 4. A Morgan Stanley analyst made a similar prediction recently.

Piper Jaffray's research suggests that 94 percent of iPhone users plan to upgrade to a new iPhone, Munster said. "This theme suggests iPhone 5, which we are expecting in August with a new form factor, will be a monster upgrade."

Munster increased his predictions for iPhone sales in the last quarter of 2011 from 26 million to 30 million, warning that the figure was still a conservative estimate.

In terms of the iPad, Munster thinks a third-generation model will launch in April and that Apple will have sold 13.5 million units in the quarter ending December 31, 2011. He also predicts that Apple will reveal Mac sales of around 5.2 million for the same period.

Apple will announce its financial results for the last quarter in a conference call on January 24.

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