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It’s not too shocking to think that Apple’s next iPhone will leapfrog last year’s iPhone 4S in sales — the real question is by how much.

Based on a recent survey of 2,000 consumers, Robert W. Baird analyst William Power predicts that Apple could sell more than 50 million iPhone 5 units in the U.S alone, Barrons reports. That’s a pretty big leap from the 37 million iPhone 4S units Apple sold worldwide during its launch quarter last year.

The Baird survey found that 39 percent of respondents were eligible for a phone upgrade (6 percent will be eligible in three months), and of that cross-section 45 percent planned to purchase an iPhone. Meanwhile, only 22 percent of potential phone buyers wanted an Android device (and 31 percent were still undecided).

The disparity isn’t surprising: An insurmountable amount of hype surrounds the iPhone 5 now, while I can’t think of any comparable Android device releases coming anytime soon (though maybe Motorola could change our minds when it unveils the Droid Razr HD). At this point, I can’t help but feel prematurely sorry for Nokia’s upcoming Windows Phone 8 devices, which will be announced in early September (likely a week before the iPhone 5).

Power’s survey also found that iPhone users were the most loyal to their platform, with 77 percent saying they’d buy another iPhone. Only 48 percent of Android users said they’d be sticking with Google’s platform. Notably, 17 percent of current Android owners were interested in jumping ship to the iPhone.

Another interesting find: The survey noted that 51 percent of consumers were interested in an Amazon smartphone, while only 7 percent wanted a Facebook phone. Judging from reports, Facebook is indeed working toward building some sort of phone, though I really don’t think it needs one.

Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5 (or whatever it ends up being called) at a September 12 event, with a release to follow on September 21. That date seems particularly solid now that we’ve heard Verizon and AT&T are blocking out vacation times for employees around September 21.

iPhone 5 mockup via iLabFactory

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