How many iPhones did Apple sell last quarter?

Estimates range from 38 million to 43 million. Average: 40 million.

Nobody on Wall Street should be surprised when Apple releases its June quarter earnings a week from Tuesday and reports that iPhone sales have declined for the second quarter in a row.

Apple warned analysts in April that it expected revenues for fiscal Q3 2016 to come in between $41 and $43 billion, well below last year’s $49.6 billion.

And because the iPhone accounts for roughly 65% of Apple’s revenue, iPhone sales must also be down. My rule of thumb is to look for iPhone unit sales of roughly one million for every $1 billion in reported revenue.

The analysts who follow Apple tend to agree. Their estimates are only now trickling in, but of the 17 we’ve seen so far—from 12 pros and five amateurs—the high is 43 million iPhones and the low is 38 million. The average, 40.2 million, represents a 16% drop year over year. (For investors monitoring Apple’s two-year iPhone cycle, that would be a 14% increase from Q3 2014, when Apple release the iPhone 5s.)

Apple is not doomed, but it is in its doldrums. This is what that looks like in terms of iPhone sales.

Click to enlarge. Not seeing the graphic? Try the website.

And here, in a pdf, are the individual analysts estimates I’ve seen so far, independents in green, pros in blue. Thanks as always to Posts at Eventide’s Robert Paul Leitao for pulling together the Braeburn Group numbers.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.35.48 AM

Barring any last minute postponements, we’ll find out who was closest to the mark about half an hour after the markets close on Tuesday June 26.


  1. Fred Stein said:
    I’d throw out the two lowest and one highest estimates to get a better (and slightly higher estimate.
    And July 26, not June, 😉

    July 18, 2016
  2. David Drinkwater said:
    I tried to enter a comment on here, but the interwebs ate it. Earlier today.

    In brief, although I think the iPhone numbers are important, I think that after this quarter (or in or as a result of this quarter), the points of greater interest will be the number of shares that Apple retires and also the increasing size of Apple’s war chest..

    I’m not gonna try to duplicate the original comment, but I think this sums it up. *shrugs*

    July 19, 2016

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