Apple’s first quarter is always its biggest quarter, since it starts before the Christmas shopping season, and this quarter promises to be no different. The past three months saw the full commercial availability of iPhone 5 — critical because the iPhone product family accounted for more than half of Apple’s 2012 revenue — and the updated iPad 4 and iPad mini.
Apple’s guidance for quarterly earnings is at $52 billion in revenue, with earnings per share of $11.75. According to the Motley Fool, Wall Street is estimating $54.5 billion, with $13.30 in earnings per share.
That would compare with $46.33 billion in Apple’s Q1 2012 numbers, which included $13.06 billion in net income.
According to the consensus on the social stock-predicting platform Estimize, which is often a little high, Apple’s numbers will be $14.66 per share, with revenue predictions from the high $40 billions to outrageously high estimates in the mid $70 billion range.
The big question is: How many iPhones and iPads will Apple sell?
If it’s a massive blowout quarter, those numbers might include something like 55 million iPhones (an appropriate number, perhaps, given the current model) and 20 million iPads. Both would be up significantly from last quarter’s 27 million iPhones and 14 million iPads, and up from Q1 2012’s 37 million iPhones and 15.43 million iPads.
Whether that happens, however, is a big question, especially given that iPad was not necessarily the sales winner this holiday season.