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Wall Street vs. amateurs: How many iPhones did Apple sell last quarter?

Zach Epstein
October 25th, 2013 at 1:00 PM
Apple Earnings Preview Q4 2013

All eyes will soon turn to Apple once again as the company prepares for another big week. Eager Apple fans will flock to stores around the world as Apple’s new iPad Air goes on sale, though certainly not quite as enthusiastically as they did last month when the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c debuted. Before Apple’s big launch on Friday, however, the company will report its results for the fiscal fourth quarter on Monday. Where Apple’s key product is concerned, iPhone sales estimates vary by a pretty huge margin, as they always do. But Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt has compiled estimates from 44 analysts to help paint a picture of what we can expect when Apple posts its results next week.

Elmer-DeWitt pulled together iPhone sales estimates from 23 professional analysts as well as 21 amateur Apple analysts, and in both cases it’s looking like Apple is in for a big quarter.

Flat iPhone activations at Verizon indicated that iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S sales may have slowed substantially leading up to the launch of Apple’s new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, which combined to smash Apple’s earlier opening-weekend iPhone sales record. But estimates from the 23 pro analysts Fortune covered suggest Apple sold 32.7 million iPhones in fiscal Q4, and the average amateur estimate suggests Apple sold 34.2 million handsets.

Combined, the consensus estimate from the 44 analysts sits at 33.4 million units, up 24% from the year-ago quarter when Apple sold 26.9 million iPhones. As Elmer-DeWitt notes, that would be the iPhone’s best on-year growth since the holiday quarter in 2012.

Apple will report its fiscal fourth-quarter results on Monday after the market closes.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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