Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Let's talk about the Mac for a change

July 17, 2010: 11:46 AM ET

The fourth in a series of previews of Apple's results for the third fiscal quarter of 2010

Click to enlarge. Source: Company reports

Between a Steve Jobs keynote in June that ignored it and media feeding frenzy in July that had nothing to do with it, one might almost forget that Apple (AAPL) makes a line of computers called Macintosh.

But it will be hard to ignore the Mac on Tuesday when Apple reports its Q3 earnings. Unless we are badly mistaken, its notebook and desktop computers will have generated between $3.4 and $4.4 billion in sales, representing the company's second largest source of revenue after the iPhone. (See chart here.)

All the analysts we polled expect Apple's Mac sales to grow -- some more than others. On the high end, Barclays Capital's Ben Reitzes is looking for Apple to report unit sales of 3.51 million Macs, up 34.8% year over year. On the low end we have William Blair's Ralph Schackart with an estimate of 2.86 million Macs, up less than 10%. The Street's consensus -- around 3.19 million units -- splits the difference.

Below: The Q3 estimates we've gathered so far. We'll add more as they come in.

Analyst, affiliation Macs (millions) Date of est.
Ben Reitzes, Barclays Capital 3.51 6/22/10
Alexis Cabot, Apple Finance Board 3.50 7/6/10
Horace Dediu, Asymco 3.46 6/29/10
Robert Paul Leitao, Apple Finance Board 3.46 7/10/10
Dennis Hildebrand, Apple's Gold 3.45 7/7/10
Nehal Chokshi, Technology Insights 3.39 7/15/10
Kathryn Huberty, Morgan Stanley 3.38 7/14/10
Daniel Tello, Deagol's AAPL Model 3.34 6/30/10
Yair Reiner, Oppenheimer 3.33 6/30/10
Richard Gardner, Citigroup 3.30 6/28/10
Toni Sacconaghi, Bernstein Research 3.28 7/7/10
Tavis McCourt, Morgan Keegan 3.27 7/7/10
Turley Muller, Financial Alchemist 3.23 7/7/10
Chris Whitmore, Deutsche Bank 3.21 7/12/10
Jeff Fidacaro, Susquehanna 3.21 6/18/10
Brian Marshall, Gleacher & Co. 3.21 7/7/10
Jeff Fosberg, Apple Finance Board 3.20 6/3/10
Shaw Wu, Kaufman Bros. 3.20 7/6/10
Doug Reid, Stifel Nicholaus 3.18 7/12/10
Andy Zaky, Bullish Cross 3.10 6/27/10
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray 3.10 7/6/10
Mike Abramsky, RBC Capital 3.10 5/20/10
Ashok Kumar, Rodman & Renshaw 3.10 7/1/10
William Fearnley, Janney Capital 3.10 7/15/10
Mark Moskowitz, J.P. Morgan 3.05 7/1/10
Scott Craig, Merrill Lynch 2.94 7/8/10
Ralph Schackart, William Blair 2.86 6/28/10

See also:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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