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Apple's forecast to sell 71.5M iPhones units in Q4, iPhone 6 sales more than double iPhone 6 Plus

On the back of strong seasonal demand, Apple is forecast to ship over 71.5 million iPhones in quarter four, but will see a drop in demand to below 50 million units during the first quarter of 2015, one analyst says.

According to a fresh report from prominent KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by AppleInsider, quarter-over-quarter Apple iPhone shipments will swell 82 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Leading the charge is iPhone 6, predicted to account for just shy of 60 percent of all sales for the quarter, or 41.65 million units. Coming in a distant second is the iPhone 6 Plus, which has been the more talked about next-generation variation due in large part to its scarcity at retail outlets. Kuo says the 6 Plus supply shortage is not only an indicator of high demand, but also confirmation that suppliers are having production issues. He believes final fourth quarter sales are largely dependent on supply chain success with 6 Plus yields.

Given Apple's current situation, Kuo foresees a major slip in iPhone sales for the first quarter of 2015, mostly due to poor off-season demand. The analyst pegs shipments at a combined 49.4 million units, including 21.6 million iPhone 6 handsets and 10.2 million iPhone 6 Plus versions.

Nearly all iPhone model sales will see quarter-on-quarter contraction save for entry level iPhone 5C and iPhone 4S variants, which are tapped to grow 77.3 percent and 58.2 percent, respectively. Kuo expects promotional pricing will drive iPhone 5C demand, while the three-generation-old iPhone 4S numbers suggest Apple is marketing to emerging markets.

Despite the growth in quarter one 2015, Kuo forecasts Apple to deprecate both iPhone 5C and iPhone 4S models, resulting in a more streamlined product offering. The iPhone lineup has seen a bit of bloat since moving to increasingly larger screen sizes.

Finally, Kuo expects Apple to build on its 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch offerings next year with revised hardware, meaning iPhone 6 models will be pushed down to mid-tier options and the iPhone 5s should go free on contract. Along with iPad updates, the move would complete Apple's transition to an all Touch ID-equipped mobile lineup, advancing the company's Apple Pay initiative.