Apple 2.0

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How many iPhones did Apple sell last quarter?

April 7, 2011: 12:05 PM ET

Analysts' estimates range from nearly 20 million to less than 13.25 million

Click to enlarge. Source: Company reports and average est. for Q2 2011

Apple's second fiscal quarter, which ended March 26, was a tricky one for analysts trying to figure out how many iPhones the company sold.

Sales of cell phones and other electronic gadgets usually fall off after the holidays. But on February 10, smack in the middle of the quarter, Apple (AAPL) launched the iPhone for Verizon (VZ), which should have boosted sales.

The health of Apple's quarterly earnings -- and its stock price -- will depend heavily on how those two factors balanced out. The iPhone is the company's biggest money maker; in Q1 2011, it represented nearly 40% of total revenue.

The 43 analysts we polled -- professionals and amateurs -- were split on the question of whether iPhone sales rose or fell in Q2. Twenty five believe Apple sold more; 18 think it sold less. Their estimates ranged from a high of 19.8 million from Susquehanna's Jeff Fidacaro to a low of 13.24 million from Goldman Sachs' Bill Shope.

We've used the analysts' average estimate, 16.64 million, in the chart above. That would represent a 90% increase from the 8.75 million Apple sold in Q2 2010.

Below: The Q2 2011 iPhone unit sales estimates we've gathered so far. We've included each analyst's ranking from last quarter's earnings smackdown. The lower the number, the more accurate the analyst's Q1 estimates.

Analyst, affiliation Units (millions) Date of est. Q1 rank
Jeff Fidacaro, Susquehanna 19.80 3/25/11 31
Luke Kittell, Apple Finance Board 19.40 3/29/11 NA
Nicolae Mihalache, Traderhood 19.08 3/27/11 4
Turley Muller, Financial Alchemist 18.35 3/23/11 2
Patrick Smellie, Apple Finance Board 18.30 3/25/11 1
Adam Thompson, Apple Finance Board 18.30 3/22/11 NA
Robert Paul Leitao, Posts At Eventide 18.13 3/30/11 7
Toni Sacconaghi, Bernstein Research 18.02 3/2/11 30
Mark Beauch, Apple Finance Board 17.70 3/29/11 NA
Daniel Tello, Deagol's AAPL Model 17.65 3/21/11 6
Horace Dediu, Asymco 17.50 3/27/11 11
Tavis McCourt, Morgan Keegan 17.50 3/25/11 35
Jeff Fosberg, Apple Finance Board 17.40 3/27/11 9
Dennis Hildebrand, Apple's Gold 17.36 3/26/11 8
Charlie Wolf, Needham 17.25 3/29/11 41
Maynard Um, UBS 17.20 3/28/11 37
Matthew Hoffman, Cowen & Co. 16.90 1/19/11 23
Andy Zaky, Bullish Cross 16.75 3/31/11 5
Mark Moskowitz, J.P. Morgan 16.64 3/25/11 15
Andy Hargreaves, Pacific Crest 16.63 3/30/11 NA
Robert Cihra, Caris 16.60 3/25/11 NA
William Power, Baird 16.51 1/19/11 NA
Steven Fox, CLSA 16.30 3/29/11 NA
Brian Marshall, Gleacher & Co. 16.24 3/3/11 19
Scott Craig, Merrill Lynch 16.24 3/21/11 16
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray 16.19 3/25/11 33
Alexis Cabot, Apple Finance Board 16.11 3/30/11 3
T. Michael Walkley, Canaccord Genuity 16.10 3/28/11 29
Shaw Wu, Sterne Agee 16.00 3/30/11 27
Peter Misek, Jeffries 16.00 3/30/11 NA
Yair Reiner, Oppenheimer 16.00 3/2/11 10
Chris Whitmore, Deutsche Bank 16.00 4/5/11 13
Daniel Ernst, Hudson Square 16.00 1/19/11 28
Kathryn Huberty, Morgan Stanley 16.00 3/25/11 36
Scott Sutherland, Wedbush 15.83 3/3/11 NA
Brian White, Ticonderoga 15.75 3/28/11 38
Ben Reitzes, Barclays Capital 15.60 4/5/11 25
Rajesh Ghai, Think Equity 15.59 3/25/11 39
Ralph Schackart, William Blair 15.50 1/19/11 NA
William Fearnley, Janney Capital 14.30 1/19/11 26
Richard Gardner, Citigroup 14.00 3/25/11 18
Hendi Susanto, Gabelli & Co. 13.57 3/25/11 NA
Bill Shope, Goldman Sachs 13.24 3/25/11 12

We'll find out who was closest to the mark after the closing bell on April 20.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
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 Fortune.com.

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