How many iPhones were sold last quarter?

Analysts' estimates compiled by Fortune are all over the place, leading to a median forecast of 27 million.

Apple's iPhone 5.
Apple's iPhone 5. Apple

iPhone sales in the third quarter may have been as low as 21 million or as high as 32.3 million, according to a bevy of analysts surveyed by Fortune.

The consensus from both professional and independent analysts led to an average of 26.4 million units and a median of 27 million. Based on the wide variety of opinions, projecting third-quarter calendar iPhone sales seemed to pose a challenge for Wall Street.

This year Apple released the new iPhone in September instead of October to end the third quarter with a bang. But limited supply of the phone likely kept a lid on sales. And many consumers held off buying a new iPhone earlier in the quarter in anticipation of the latest model.

Apple sold more than 5 million new iPhones in the first weekend alone. However, many analysts had been eying higher numbers.

Demand remains higher than supply for the new iPhone with Apple's online store still listing a wait time of three to four weeks, a range that's been firm for a while now.

How did iPhone sales fare in past quarters?

This year, Apple sold 26 million iPhones in the first quarter but bounced back with sales of 35 million in the second quarter. Last year, the company sold only 17 million iPhones in the third quarter but again rebounded with 37 million in the final quarter.

Apple is due to report its third quarter earnings on October 25.

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About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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