Apple's Q1: The iPhone 4S will carry the day

Summary:Wall Street is expecting fiscal first quarter earnings of $10.08 a share on revenue of $38.85 billion.

Apple is on tap to deliver its fiscal first quarter earnings and analysts are expecting the company's results to shine courtesy of the iPhone 4S launch.

Wall Street is expecting fiscal first quarter earnings of $10.08 a share on revenue of $38.85 billion.

Here's a look at the numbers to know ahead of Apple's earnings.

iPhone shipments will carry the fiscal first quarter. Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies, estimated 37 million iPhone builds with shipments of 35 million. Estimates for Apple's iPhone shipments have increased due to the launch of the iPhone 4S as well as strong revenue growth from Hon Hai and Pegatron.

Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore said in a research note:

We believe Apple experienced extremely robust demand for the iPhone 4S during the quarter. We believe there were three key drivers of strong iPhone demand: 1) pent-up demand leading into the Q, following a demand pause ahead of the iPhone 4S launch, 2) seasonal uptick due to the holiday season 3) carrier expansion (e.g. Sprint).

iPad shipments were solid in the fiscal fourth quarter and Misek is expecting sell through to top 13.5 million. Apple delivered 12 million iPad builds, but the iPad 3 launch looms in the March quarter, according to Misek.

Mac sales surged in the December quarter and U.S. and China drove the results. Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes is predicting 22 percent year-over-year Mac unit growth. Another positive for Apple is that it is in a better position in terms of units because the MacBook Air lacks a hard disk drive.

iPod units are likely to continue to slip. In fact, "the iPod category is no longer really material to Apple from a financial standpoint," said Reitzes. NPD data indicates that Apple has 77 percent market share in the MP3 market.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Banking, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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