Even Professional Analysts Aren’t Sure How Many iPads Apple Sold Last Quarter

Even Professional Analysts Aren’t Sure How Many iPads Apple Sold Last Quarter

As a publicly traded company, Apple submits its financial reports every quarter to let their investors know how well the company is doing. However, Apple is under no obligation to share specific financial results about each of the individual products it sells, data that it is still trying to protect via the court in the Apple v Samsung case in Northern California.

However, rabid interest in the specifics continues unabated. In a survey reported today, CNN Money asked 61 Apple analysts, 31 from Wall Street and 30 independent analysts, what their estimates were for specific device sales in the quarter that just ended on September 29, 2012. Turns out, the analysts estimates were all over the place when it came to predicting the number of iPads sold.

When averaged out, the Wall Street analysts put iPad sales at a little under 17.6 million units, while the independent analysts called it at 19.23 million units, a figure that is 9% higher. Even within the two groups, there were highly disparate numbers being bandied about, with a low of 14.8 million being submitted by both a Wall Street analyst as well as an independent. Two independents submitted the high estimate of 23 million.

Averaged across both groups, the analysts estimate comes out to about 18.38 million units sold, with a median of 18.13 million units.

What does this all mean? Well, until Apple reports its own sales numbers on the 25th of this month, not a whole lot. Except that Apple most likely sold a giant truckload of iPads in the last quarter.

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  • Steffen Jobbs

    That’s because they’re not really professional analysts. They’re what you call professional guessers. Eventually they give up trying to figure actual numbers and start pulling numbers out of their behinds. For every turd they drop into the toilet each turd is worth a million in unit sales. Analysts for Apple are completely useless because the numbers are all over the place. 59 (pro and amateur) analysts for Apple doesn’t make the numbers any closer. It makes the unit number spread that much wider.

    Anyway, I’m sure whatever number of iPads Apple sold, it won’t be enough to boost the share price. Wall Street is becoming less and less satisfied with Apple’s quarterly numbers despite being the tech industry leader in revenue and profits.

  • joewaylo

    @steffen jobs They should know. They have sales analysts and inventory specialists that have to report accuracy.

    But it might be quicker if Apple looks up ipad3 registered codes on their database for those linked to iTunes since most special events. Tim Cook always says “We sold over a million New iPads in the first quarter alone.”

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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