Apple plans to announce how well it did during the holiday buying period later this month. A conference call to announce the tech giant’s first quarter of 2012 financial results is set for January 24. Wall Street consensus forecasts a blowout quarter with Apple earnings up 43 percent on $38.16 billion of sales.
Many observers expect the iPhone 4S, announced late in October, to drive the quarter’s sales figures. An indication of just how strong the quarter may be came in December, when AT&T said it was on track to sell at least 6.1 million iPhones during the holiday quarter, smashing its previous records.
The financial report also comes amid other major product announcements expected from Apple. The iPhone 4S is expected to launch in China before the Jan. 23 date. A New York City media event featuring iTunes impressario Eddie Cue has also been scheduled for later this month – a gathering some speculate could revolutionize how textbooks are used.
The financial announcement could also reveal how much Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet chipped into iPad sales. Earlier this week, Morgan Keenan analyst Travis McCourt told investors the $199 Android device cost “at most” 1 million to 2 million iPad purchases. Many analysts are preparing for lower iPad sales figures, given the rising talk of a new Apple tablet. A similar slowdown happened in 2011, when consumers curious about a fifth-generation iPhone delayed buying an Apple smartphone.
How well have independent analysts done against the pros? After falling on their face due to over-optimistic forecasts for the most recently-completed quarter, independents are saying Apple will report $43.26 billion for the first quarter, a 62 percent increase.
For details, tune in at 2 pm Pacific (5 pm Eastern) when Apple unveils the actual numbers.