Analysts worldwide have speculated about the number of smartphones that Apple has sold over the last quarter; in the quarter ending in March, Apple had managed to flog 18.6 million iPhone 4 and 3GS.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune (opens in new tab) compiled a list of estimates for the quarter ending in June from a total of 42 analysts that includes both amateurs and professionals.
The average of their estimates, Elmer-DeWitt, found out, stood at just over 17 million, with the lowest estimate being 15 million, which means that most analysts consulted expect Apple to sell less iPhones than in the previous quarter.
Still that would be more than double the number sold in the corresponding quarter in 2010 and four times from that in 2009.
Using the average of all the estimates would mean that Apple has sold around 125 million iPhone handsets since the phone went on sale in 2007, with a tiny fraction (around 6 million) being sold in the first year.
Apple's strategy has been to gradually embrace new territories by launching a CDMA version of the phone, striking new alliances beyond their initial launch partners (Verizon in the US, Orange in the UK) and launching the phone in many more territories.
However the biggest issue that Apple will face with the release of the iPhone 5 will be producing enough smartphones to fulfil the surge in demand at launch.
Apple is expected to sell in excess of 65 million handsets in 2011 which will bring in between $40 and $45 billion in revenue, possibly more than the Mac, iPod and iPad combined.