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Analyst: Apple sold 33 million iPhones last quarter

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says that Apple likely sold about 12 million iPads during the period, as well.

Apple might have sold more than 30 million iPhones during the first quarter, according to an analyst.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote to investors today that Apple likely sold 33 million iPhones during the first quarter. During the same period in 2011, Apple sold 18.65 million iPhones.

Although Munster's estimate easily outpaces that quarter, the figure would be far behind the 37 million iPhones Apple sold during the fourth quarter. Munster didn't address the difference, but fourth-quarter's sales figures were likely higher due to the debut of the iPhone 4s and holiday shopping.

In addition, Munster said that Apple likely sold 12 million iPads worldwide during the first quarter. Apple sold 4.69 million iPads during the first quarter of 2011.

Munster's note comes a little over a week after J.P. Morgan offered up its predictions on iPhone and iPad sales during the first quarter. That research firm said Apple's iPhone sales likely hit 31.1 million units during the period, while iPad sales will reach 13.8 million units. Looking ahead, J.P. Morgan's Mark Moskowitz said in a note that Apple's iPhone sales will only increase this year, with the help of the upcoming iPhone 5.

"Looking ahead, our assumption is that a new iPhone 5 with a thinner body and LTE capability will be launched in [the second half of 2012], which should sustain the iPhone's above-peer growth trajectory," Moskowitz said. He predicts Apple will sell 138.2 million iPhones this year and 69.6 million iPads.

Regardless of the exact number of iPhones and iPads that Apple will sell, it's clear that the company has struck a chord with consumers around the world. Its continued year-over-year jumps seem to indicate that consumers aren't growing tired of either iOS or Apple's mobile devices. This situation has led to Apple posting huge revenue and profit figures and cementing its position as the biggest company in the world.

Apple will announce its first-quarter earnings later this month.

(Via Apple Insider)