Apple’s Quarterly iPhone Sales Could Hold an Upside Surprise

Published on July 18, 2013
by John Paczkowski

Apple crystal ballWhen Apple reports earnings next week, its fiscal third-quarter financials could include a surprise: Better-than-expected iPhone sales.

This according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, who said her supply-chain checks suggest that iPhone shipments for the period could surpass consensus estimates of 26.5 million.

By how much? Plenty. Huberty said her data indicates iPhone shipments for the period of somewhere between 29 million and 32 million units. If accurate, those are strong numbers — though it should be noted that Huberty figures that they’re largely driven by demand for legacy iPhones. That said, they’ll still have significant impact on Apple’s financials — again, if they prove accurate.

Said Huberty, “Even if we assume all iPhones above our 26 million model are the cheapest iPhone 4 at a $50 discount, the higher shipments imply total revenue north of $36 billion. That’s above both Apple’s guidance range of $33.5 billion to $35.5 billion for quarter and market consensus of $35.1 billion.”

Good news for Apple, if Huberty’s call proves true. That said, things don’t look quite so good for the next quarter. The analyst said consensus estimates for that period may be too high, given the slowing of iPhone sales momentum that typically occurs ahead of expected product launches.

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