Rattled by market chatter suggesting waning iPhone demand might seriously impact Apple’s (AAPL) performance in the first calendar quarter this year, investors sent Apple shares down more than 3% on Tuesday as the stock closed at a 10-month low of $485.92. While Apple’s performance in fiscal Q2 is currently the cause of investors’ concerns, weaker than expected fiscal Q1 performance also weighs heavy as Apple prepares to post its earnings next week. According to one plugged-in industry watcher, however, Apple will crush iPhone shipment estimates when it reports its results on January 23rd.
In a note to clients picked up by AppleInsider, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo — who has a better track record than most when it comes to Apple — believes iPhone shipments for the holiday quarter reached nearly 52 million units, up 41% year-over-year. The staggering figure would crush Wall Street’s 47.6 million-unit consensus and would likely help Apple avoid posting its third consecutive earnings miss.
Ming-Chi believes Apple shipped 35 million iPhone 5 handsets, while iPhone 4S shipments reached 9.5 million and iPhone 4 channel sales hit 7.3 million. The analyst also thinks iPad shipments will grow 49% to reach 23 million units in the first fiscal quarter, which includes shipments of 8.2 million iPad minis.