Analysts are predicting another record quarter from Apple, amid a week jammed with expectations about the Cupertino, Calif. company’s next move. In notes to investors, analysts believe Apple could announce record profit, followed by record sales, all buoyed by talk of a tablet device.
Analyst Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros., expects Apple will report later today $12.4 billion in revenue for the three-month period ended in late December. Additionally, Wu believes the company has sold 9.5 million iPhones, 2.9 million Macs and 22 million iPods.
Although the analyst expects to see growth across all Apple products, the company is likely to report back-to-back records for the iPhone. “We will likely see a new quarterly shipment record, beating its previous 7.4 million iPhones set last quarter, and close to RIM’s record of 10.1 million BlackBerries shipped,” Wu said.
The analyst’s optimism is blunted slightly because of talk a redesigned iMac may cause production delays. However, another analyst believes Apple’s Mac sales could be headed for a new record. Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster expects 3.1 million Macs will have sold during the December quarter, topping the 3.05 million record Apple set in October.
Vijay Rakesh, analyst with ThinkEquity, expects Apple will report $12.4 billion in quarterly earning, up from the analyst’s previous forecast of $12 billion.
“We expect a solid quarter with Mac sales up more than 20 percent quarter over quarter and iPhone sales of 9.5 million for the December quarter,” Rakesh told investors Monday. The eventual iPhone sales could be even higher due to the handset being available in 80 countries – up from 64 in September.
What about the tablet? Apple could sell 5 million units between March and September, priced between $500 and $1,000, the analyst said. Despite the tablet’s introduction implying a shift away from the family of traditional iPods, Rakesh expects Apple has sold 21 million iPods for the quarter, up from 10.2 million during the previous period.
Apple will announce its quarterly report at 5 p.m., after the market close.