It’s looking like it might be a dreary quarter for Apple. Not only has iPhone growth pretty much leveled off, but most Wall Street analysts believe that when Apple announces its quarterly numbers, iPad sales will have actually declined year over year. Is Wall Street wrong?
Over at Fortune, Philip Elmer-DeWitt correlated the predictions of 21 Wall Street professionals and 14 amateurs, asking them how many iPads they thought Apple sold in the first three months of 2014.
Few people are predicting anything good. The consensus estimate is 19.3 million iPads, which would be a 0.7% decline in iPads sold year over year. The outliers are Horace Dediu, who thinks Apple sold 21.8 million iPads, and the Braeburn Group’s Matt Lew, who thinks Apple sold a mere 15 million iPads. The former would be a gain of 12%, the latter an abysmal decline of 23%, year-over-year.
To be fair, Apple might be a victim of its own success here. iPad sales grew so fast that they may be impossible to keep up: in Q2 2013, the iPad grew 55% year-over-year. Even so, Wall Street’s not going to be happy with these numbers, and Apple is going to feel more pressure than ever to deliver a killer new product in 2014 to keep investors happy.