Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

How many iPhones did Apple sell last quarter?

July 13, 2011: 5:41 AM ET

The analysts' estimates range from 15 million to 20.25 million. Average: 16.9 million.

Source: Company reports, Apple 2.0

No product contributes more to Apple's (AAPL) bottom line than the iPhone.

In the 2nd fiscal quarter that ended in March, when the company sold a record 18.65 million units, the iPhone and related products and services generated $12.3 billion in revenue, almost exactly 50% of Apple's total sales for the quarter -- more than the Mac, iPod and iPad combined.

So when Apple reports its 3rd quarter earnings next week, everybody who follows the company -- from its most steadfast investors to its fiercest competitors -- will be paying particular attention to how many iPhones it sold.

The estimates of the 39 analysts we polled for our quarterly earnings smackdown were all over the lot, from a high of 20.25 million from Traderhood's Nicolae Mihalache, a Romanian mathematician who teaches at the University of Paris and tends to overestimate, to 15 million from Needham's Charlie Wolf, a veteran Apple hand who tends to come in low.

The average all the estimates, 16.9 million, represents a 101% increase over the same quarter last year, and would bring the total number of iPhones sold over the past four years to more than 125 million.

The 39 analysts in our survey included 14 amateurs and 25 professionals. Their average estimates were closer than in past quarters. Among the amateurs it was 17.8 million. Among the pros, 16.4 million. We'll find out whose estimates were closest to the mark when Apple reports its earnings next Tuesday.

Below: The estimates we've gathered so far and the dates they were submitted. The Q2 rank numbers show how accurate each analyst's estimates were last quarter (the lower the better).

[UPDATE: Three more analysts have come in with iPhone numbers since this was posted: Wedbush's Scott Sutherland (18.65 million), UBS's Maynard Um (18.35) and CitiGroup's Richard Gardner (18 million). That brings the Wall Street consensus up to 16.6 million and puts the overall average above the 17 million mark.]

Analyst, affiliation iPhones (millions) Date of est. Q2 rank
Nicolae Mihalache, Traderhood 20.25 6/24/11 16
Dennis Hildebrand, Apple's Gold 18.90 6/24/11 12
Chas McKenna, Apple Finance Board 18.40 6/17/11 9
Mark Beauch, Apple Finance Board 18.10 5/9/11 13
Patrick Smellie, Apple Finance Board 18.06 7/2/11 10
Corey Forsberg, Apple Finance Board 18.00 7/2/11 NA
Robert Paul Leitao, Posts At Eventide 18.00 6/25/11 6
Ralph Schackart, William Blair 18.00 6/7/11 44
Luke Kittell, Apple Finance Board 17.80 6/24/11 8
Daniel Tello, Deagol's AAPL Model 17.60 7/1/11 4
Mark Moskowitz, J.P. Morgan 17.58 7/5/11 23
Brian White, Ticonderoga 17.53 7/12/11 39
Navin Nagrani, Apple Finance Board 17.50 6/26/11 NA
Turley Muller, Financial Alchemist 17.15 6/17/11 7
Matthew Hoffman, Cowen & Co. 17.10 4/21/11 22
Adam Thompson, Apple Finance Board 17.03 7/3/11 11
Andy Zaky, Bullish Cross 17.00 6/22/11 2
Chris Whitmore, Deutsche Bank 17.00 7/5/11 37
Tavis McCourt, Morgan Keegan 17.00 6/28/11 20
Shaw Wu, Sterne Agee 17.00 7/6/11 29
Daniel Ernst, Hudson Square 17.00 7/11/11 46
Keith Bachman, BMO Capital 16.70 7/11/11 NA
T. Michael Walkley, Canaccord Genuity 16.50 7/5/11 35
Brian Marshall, Gleacher & Co. 16.50 7/5/11 26
Kathryn Huberty, Morgan Stanley 16.50 6/26/11 34
Jeff Fidacaro, Susquehanna 16.44 6/7/11 21
Ben Reitzes, Barclays Capital 16.40 6/28/11 41
Peter Misek, Jeffries 16.30 7/7/11 27
Scott Craig, Merrill Lynch 16.15 6/7/11 24
Bill Shope, Goldman Sachs 16.05 7/6/11 48
James Cordwell, Atlantic Equities 16.00 7/6/11 NA
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray 16.00 7/5/11 40
Hendi Susanto, Gabelli & Co. 15.96 7/8/11 33
Robert Cihra, Caris 15.80 7/11/11 17
Toni Sacconaghi, Bernstein Research 15.70 6/28/11 15
Mike Abramsky, RBC Capital 15.50 6/29/11 18
Horace Dediu, Asymco 15.10 6/26/11 5
Nehal Chokshi, Technology Insights 15.10 7/7/11 14
Charlie Wolf, Needham 15.00 6/28/11 36
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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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