How many iPhones were sold last quarter? Analysts chime in

The median number weighs in at 37 million, according to a group of analysts polled by Fortune.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Apple sold less than 33 million iPhones last quarter. No, wait, it sold more than 42 million. Actually, those are just the lowest and highest predictions offered by a bevy of analysts surveyed by Fortune.

Among the 48 analysts questioned about Apple's iPhone sales last quarter, Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu was the most bearish, offering an estimate of just 32.5 million. On the other end of the spectrum, Michel Contant of the Braeburn Group was the most bullish, eyeing sales of 42.5 million.

The average turned out to be almost 36.9 million, while the median came in at exactly 37 million.

Whichever analysts are on the money, few expect a blockbuster quarter for iPhone sales. For the March quarter of 2012, Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones. But that proved to be an 88 percent jump over the same period in 2011.

Even reaching 42 million in sales last quarter would be just a 21 percent rise from a year ago. Achieving the median estimate of 37 million would represent a gain of just 5.5 percent.

Apple sold a healthy 47.8 million iPhones during its December quarter. But the stock was still rocked by Wall Street as analysts were anticipating higher overall revenues. The company is no longer the darling of Wall Street as its shares have been hit hard over the past several months.

If Apple turns in another quarter that fails to match forecasts, just how strongly will investors react? We'll know the answer to that on April 23 when Apple reveals its results for the March quarter.