Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone has apparently been selling well during the third quarter of the year. That’s according to data from Morgan Stanley’s AlphaWise Smartphone Tracker, as reported by analyst Katy Huberty.

Apple

iPhone sales going well up to Sept. 15

The data ends on Sunday, Sept. 15., so it covers just a few days of preorders for the new iPhone 5C. It shows that during the third quarter of the year up until that date, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold around 34.5 million iPhones. The company started taking orders for the new handset on Friday.

According to Huberty’s report, that beats consensus estimates of 31 million iPhones for the quarter by 11 percent. That number is also 28 percent higher than the same quarter of last year, in which Apple sold just 26.9 million iPhones.

Apple probably won’t beat Samsung

However, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) could still end up quite a bit ahead of Apple. The data suggests that the Korean handset maker sold 47 million handsets during the quarter. That’s 4.4 percent higher than consensus estimates for the company’s phone sales during the third quarter.

The data from AlphaWise Smartphone Tracker uses Internet search data from the U.S., the U.K., China, Japan, Germany and France. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be launching the new iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S this week on Friday.

What about sales of the iPhone 5C?

Speculations are swirling about just how well preorder sales of the iPhone 5C are going. Apple decided not to release those numbers this year, even though it has released preorder sales in each of the last three years. While some say this may be a sign that they aren’t going so well, others note that the iPhone 5C preorders might not be comparable to preorder numbers from the company’s previous flagship phones because it isn’t this year’s flagship phone. It’s essentially an iPhone 5 in a colorful case.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) isn’t taking preorders for the flagship iPhone 5S this year, possibly because of supply problems. Carriers have indicated that early supply of the handset is especially dismal this year, although supply of the iPhone 5C appears to be better.