Betcha Apple Sold a Lot of iPhones This Quarter

Published on December 8, 2011
by John Paczkowski

AT&T’s announcement Wednesday that it is on track to sell a record number of smartphones this quarter has inspired some analysts to reaffirm their iPhone forecasts and others to raise them. AT&T is the largest iPhone carrier in the world, after all.

In the first group is Ticonderoga’s Brian White, who expects Apple to sell 29.9 million iPhones in the December quarter, a quarter-over-quarter increase of 84 percent. With him, BTIG Research’s Walter Piecyk, who says AT&T’s good news suggests Apple will sell 30 million iPhones in the quarter, just as he predicted in August.

In the second group: Stern Agee’s Shaw Wu and UBS’s Maynard Um. Wu raised his forecast for iPhone sales this quarter to 28 million, up from 26 million. Um went him two million better, raising his estimate to 30 million from 28 million, though he concedes even that might end up being a little light, thanks to high demand in the Asia Pacific region.

“We believe that there is a general strength across the board for iPhone demand,” Um said in a note to clients. “We continue to believe that our estimates are conservative as [they] are still below where expected build plans are.”

In other words, Apple will likely blow out iPhone sales for the quarter, just as CEO Tim Cook said it would during the company’s last earnings call.

Said Cook, “We’re very confident that we will set an all-time record in the December quarter for iPhone sales. We — in our wildest dreams, we couldn’t have gotten off to a start as great as we have on the 4S.”

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