When Apple unveiled the new iPad Air this fall, Tim Cook said that it was going to be an iPad Christmas. With reportedly strong iPad Air and iPad Mini sales, that may have well been the case. But from a broader perspective, it looks more like an iPhone quarter.
Apple next Monday is slated to release its earnings from the always-lucrative holiday quarter. With that, analysts from far and wide have released their iPhone sales estimates for the quarter gone by. Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune aggregated many of these estimates and relays that the consensus amongst 44 analysts yields an average of 55.3 million iPhone sales.
The most bullish estimate comes courtesy of Faizal Kara of The Braeburn Group, who anticipates sales in the range of 59.73 million units sold. At the low end of the spectrum we have Ilari Scheinin, also of The Braeburn Group, who anticipates quarterly iPhone sales to check in at 50 million units.
By way of comparison, Apple during its holiday quarter last year sold 47.8 million iPhones.
That's a heck of a lot of iPhones, but there are a number of reasons to assume that Apple this past holiday quarter eclipsed that figure. For starters, the iPhone 5s and 5c launched in more countries and at a faster rate than ever before. Indeed, Tim Cook already revealed that iPhone sales in China this past quarter set a new quarterly record. Secondly, opening weekend sales of the iPhone rang in at a whopping 9 million units, setting a new launch weekend record.
For quite some time, analysts have been claiming that iPhone sales have peaked and are on the decline. That said, if Apple sells 55.9 million iPhones, that'll represent a year-over-year increase of 15%. If iPhone sales for the quarter check in at 57.3 million units, that'll represent a year-over-year increase of 20%.
One thing's for sure: the tech and financial world will be watching Apple's earnings report closely next week.