The countdown has begun when everyone is just waiting for the news to hit the web as Apple takes covers off its latest and innovative next-gen iPhone or iPhone 5.

The latest speculation clouding over the sixth-generation smartphone is regarding the number of handsets the Cupertino Calif.-based firm would be able to trade off in the first week itself.

According to many analysts, the next-gen iPhone by Apple is expected to be a big hit. This smartphone is already a favorite of the rumor mill that is going on regarding its specifications and features.

As per reports, Apple iPhone 5 is expected to beat the sales of its precious handsets during its first weekend itself. According to Brian White, analyst, Topeka, Apple is on the edge to sell 1.5 million preorders for the next iPhone, or between 5 million and 5.5 million units during the first weekend, which they believe is justified.

In case Apple succeeds and comes close to these numbers, the sale of iPhone 5 will beat those of its predecessors. In 2009, more than 1 million models of iPhone 3GS were reportedly sold during the first weekend of its release. Its successor, the iPhone 4 sold more than 1.7 million in 2010. And in 2011, the iPhone 4S saw initial sales of 4 million units.

The new iPhone is expected to be launched in just few hours now at the Apple’s press event in the US.