updated 09:45 am EST, Fri December 31, 2010
Average amounts to 6.35 million
Professional and amateur analysts alike are widely split on how many iPads Apple may have sold in the fiscal quarter which ended Christmas Day, Fortune notes. Predictions for Q1 2011 are said to be more conservative than those for Q4 2010, which were so overeager that they were off by as much as 2.3 million. By contrast, the gap between present top- and bottom-end estimates amongst a group of 27 analysts is 2.54 million.
The smallest estimate comes from Hudson Square's Daniel Ernst, who expects just 5 million iPads. The largest number is 7.54 million, attributed to Bill Shope from Goldman Sachs. The average comes out to 6.35 million; the person closest to this number is Canaccord Genuity's T. Michael Walkley at 6.3 million.
Q1 sales should be helped by two main factors. The first is simply the holidays, in which the iPad has been one of the most sought-after gifts. Apple has also been greatly expanding the distribution of the tablet, not only to more countries but to more retail chains in the US such as Target and Walmart. Official Q1 results will be announced on January 18th.