Today AT&T announced that it sold 10 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2012, beating the 2011 record of 9.4 million units. Based on knowledge of what percentage of those sales numbers have been iPhones in previous quarters, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is forecasting that AT&T sold 8.1 million iPhones during the last quarter.
That's in line with AT&T's comments that it sold a record number of iPhones in the quarter. During the 2011 holiday quarter, the carrier sold 7.6 million iPhones.
With that quantity of iPhones being sold by AT&T alone, Munster believes that Apple will announce sales of 45 million devices in the quarter during its earnings call on January 23. Munster is also forecasting that 50 million new iTunes accounts were added during the month of December 2012 alone. He's basing this on Apple's recent update on the App Store, in which the company disclosed that there are currently "over 500 million active iTunes accounts." That's up from the 435 million announced at the iPhone 5 launch last fall.