iPhone sales estimates creeping up from Wall Street analysts

Yesterday's announcement by AT&T that it's well on the way to selling a record number of smartphones -- many of which are most likely the iPhone 4S -- was encouraging to Wall Street analysts who are now bumping up their estimates of just how many of the phones Apple may sell in the December quarter.

According to AllThingsD, two of the most bullish analysts are Brian White from Ticonderoga, who thinks Apple is on track to sell 29.9 million iPhones in the quarter, and BTIG Research's Walter Piecyk, who one-upped White with an estimate of 30 million. Piecyk made his optimistic statement back in August, before the iPhone 4S was even announced, so it will be impressive indeed if his crystal ball proves to be the most accurate.

Those 29.9 million iPhone sales predicted by White represent an 84 percent increase over the previous quarter ending September 30, 2011. iPhone sales were down from analyst estimates for that quarter, primarily because many consumers held off on purchasing so that they could get the next big thing from Apple.

Shaw Wu from Stern Agee raised his estimate of iPhone sales from 26 million to 28 million, while Maynard Um of UBS went completely bullish and changed his number from 28 million to 30 million. Um thinks sales could be even higher than that, based on unprecedented demand in the Asia Pacific region.

None of this, of course, is going to surprise Apple CEO Tim Cook, who stated during the October earnings call that "We're very confident that we will set an all-time record in the December quarter for iPhone sales. We -- in our wildest dreams, we couldn't have gotten off to a start as great as we have on the 4S."