Craig Berger from FBR Capital Markets thinks Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could sell 250 million iPhone 5 handsets over their lifespan.

iPhone 5


He also speculates that the sixth generation smartphone could drive up $50 in earnings per share, or about $47  billion in profits during the lifecycle of the product. It could be the largest single product opportunity for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

This was first reported by All Thing Digital, which claimed that should Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sell 250 million iPhone units, “that would mark a dramatic uptick in total sales for its iOS-based devices.”

So what makes analysts think Apple’s upcoming smartphone will be a big hit? Berger suggested that the device’s predicted features (namely the faster processor  and larger display) will make the phone more desirable. He also speculates that Apple will launch their iPhone 5 on China’s Mobile services sometime early next year. He said, “”If China Mobile launches the iPhone in early 2013, we anticipate that Apple could generate 13 million units sold [to China Mobile customers] in the first half of 2013.”

China Mobile is the largest cell phone carrier in the world, with 688 million subscribers. Although a smaller percentage of their subscribers are smartphoe owners, this could still be a big opportunity for Apple to sell even more iPhones.

It’s predicted that Apple will introduce the new iPhone on September 12th, and officially launch the product on September 21st. Apple has yet to confirm these dates, though.

Although Apple’s iPhone 5 is the most highly anticipated gadget of the season, that’s no guarantee that the phone is going to be the biggest seller yet, especially considering that some people have their doubts about the product.  Apple is the innovator of the popular technology products that we know today,  and it would be surprising to see if they didn’t amp up the competition by creating a better iPhone. I’m going to give Apple the benefit of the doubt and let them remind us why we love their brand.