How many iPhones did Apple sell last quarter? (Q4 2017)

The analysts' estimates—which include iPhone 8 shipments but not iPhone X—range from 42 million to nearly 51 million.

It may seem odd to be talking about last quarter's iPhone sales when investors are so focused on this quarter. But it's the results from fiscal Q4 2017—the quarter that ended Sept. 30—that Apple will be reporting next week, and they won't include the iPhone X.

The 24 analyst I've heard from so far—18 Wall Street professionals and 6 independents—are a bit more optimistic than they were in July. Last summer their consensus was that iPhone sales in Q4 would come up shy of last year's 45.5 million units. Now most are expecting Apple to beat last year's sales, by anywhere from half a million iPhones to more than 5 million. Average estimate: 46.55 million, up 2.3% from the same quarter last year.

Here's what that looks like (click second column see how year-over-year growth fell and has started to recover):

Not seeing the interactive chart? Try the website.

Below: The individual analysts estimates, pros in blue, indies in green.

iphone sales estimates

Click to enlarge. 

We'll find out who was closest to the mark next Thursday (Nov. 2) when Apple reports its fiscal Q4 2017 earnings—and its total earnings for the fiscal year.


  1. John Kirk said:
    Apple is always unfairly criticized, but the FUD being raised by pundits this quarter is absolutely deafening. One of their biggest phony-boloney stories is that Apple is in trouble because they sold fewer iPhone 8s this quarter than they sold iPhone 7s last year at this same time.

    Well, OF COURSE, they sold fewer. Apple introduced the iPhone X with sales to start in November. Some iPhone 8 sales were going to be transferred to the X. What would have been absolutely shocking would have been if 8s had sold in similar numbers to 7s. (And I feel certain that if Apple had sold a lot of iPhone 8s, pundits would have said it was proof of the low interest in the iPhone X. In other words, it’s bad news if you sell a few. It’s bad news if you sell a lot.)

    — Apple is being criticized because their base is waiting to buy the MORE EXPENSIVE iPhone offering.
    — Apple is being criticized because they can’t make enough of the MORE EXPENSIVE iPhone to meet demand.

    This sounds like a very happy problem to have. There isn’t a company in the world that doesn’t wish it had these kinds of “problems”.

    October 29, 2017
  2. David Drinkwater said:
    In this quarter’s Guide, we;lll get a glimpse of Apple’s real situation on the iPhone X. Apple will KNOW how many orders they have. Apple will have an idea of how many they can build. That will be expressed in Guide in one form or another.

    Analysts and engaged investors alike willl be waiting on tenterhooks. FUDsters can hang on them.

    PS Because AT&T will not allow purchase of CDMA-capable phones at launch, I can’t place my order yet. Between them, Apple and AT&T got some ‘splainin’ to do,

    October 29, 2017
  3. Gregg Thurman said:
    “In this quarter’s Guide, we;lll get a glimpse of Apple’s real situation on the iPhone X. Apple will KNOW how many orders they have. Apple will have an idea of how many they can build. That will be expressed in Guide in one form or another.”

    Hallelujah (trumpets blare). Exactly. Anything and everything posited before Apple announces or reports MUST be taken with a one ton grain of salt.

    I have my OPINION, but it is always posted as an opinion, unlike certain Taiwanese guessers, I mean “researchers”.

    I expect Apple to guide December quarter revenue results between $88 Billion (bottom of range) and $92 Billion (top of range), reporting $91.5 Billion on January 30, 2018.

    October 29, 2017
  4. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    Obviously, September quarter iPhone unit sales have no bearing on the success of the iPhone X or provide any real insights into demand levels for the new flagship handset. What the September quarter iPhone number may indicate is how quickly Apple could ship iPhone 8 models into the global channel.

    Success of the iPhone 8 handsets should not be determined by comparison to early shipments of the iPhone 7 series handsets last year or by what is expected to be outsized demand for the iPhone X. Rather, iPhone 8 handsets will add to the number of eco-system participants using the latest chips and other advancements in technology wrapped in a familiar and popular form.

    In general, expectations are modest for iPhone unit sales in the September period as consumers the world over were waiting for the release of the iPhone X.

    October 29, 2017

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