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It’s that time of year again. Apple analysts are taking a hard look at the supply chain for iPhones, at sales levels, at general tech market trends, and even media reports — all to get an idea of what Apple will announce tomorrow when it reveals its fiscal third quarter financial results.

By all accounts the results will be good.

This is driven by the view that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are still selling very well — especially in markets like China, the U.S., and the U.K.

As Apple third quarters go, this one promises to be an especially strong one, because the iPhone 6 wasn’t supposed to be selling so strongly this late into its life cycle.

Analyst Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray expressed surprise at that very thing in a recent note. Some in mobile circles have even raised the possibility that Apple would postpone the arrival of its next phones — presumably the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus — so as not to curtail strong sales of the current models.

Munster believes Apple has sold between 49 and 50 million iPhones in the quarter, which will drive about $50 billion for revenues in the quarter. Yes, Apple knows how to profit from making phones — big time. A recent report said that out of all the profit anyone around the world earns from making smartphones, Apple accounts for 92 percent.

Deutsche Bank analyst Sherri Scribner said in a research note that Apple will report sales of around 50 million iPhone 6 devices in the April through June quarter. That would represent an 18 percent decline from the previous quarter, but a 40 percent increase from the year-earlier quarter.

After the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones in the final quarter of 2014, a new record. In the following quarter, Apple sold 61 million iPhones, which is seasonally slower.


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