Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Fortuneâ€™s Apple 2.0 blog is today reporting that everyone he has been talking to who is in the position to be in the know has been saying that Apple will report record iPad sales for the quarter ending December 31. He says that iPad 2s were popular gifts during the holiday season, adding that Appleâ€™s tablet faced very little in the way of competition, apart from Amazonâ€™s Kindle Fire. Predictions about the arrival of an iPad 3 in March 2012 are also thought to have very little effect on sales for the last quarter. Elmer-DeWitt says that estimates of iPads sold from the 42 analysts that he has polled range from a low of 11.73 million from Gabelli & Co.â€™s Hendi Susanto to a high of 19.47 million from Alexis Cabot of the MacObserverâ€™s Apple Finance Board. These two figures are obviously the two extremes of the scale. Elmer-DeWitt says that generally speaking, there was â€œmore agreement than usualâ€ from the Wall Street analysts and his independent panel. The average sales figure estimated by the pros was 13.5 million iPads, whereas the average from the independents was 14.8 million, representing a difference of under 10%. Overall, he says that the general consensus among all 42 analysts is that Apple sold a little less than 14 million iPads, which would mark a 90% increase on the year-ago quarter, and would bring the total number of iPads that Apple has sold since 2010 to almost 52.5 million.
Just how accurate the top analysts' estimates prove to be will be revealed on January 24 when Apple reports its earnings.
Source: iPad sales estimates for Q1 range from 11.7 to 19.5 million - Apple 2.0 - Fortune Tech