Apple CEO Tim Cook had a lot of explaining to do last quarter when it came to iPad sales.

In fact, he spent more time talking about the iPad during the company’s April earnings call with analysts than he did any other Apple product. That’s because second-quarter iPad unit sales were down 16% year over year — from 19.5 million in Q2 2012 to 16.4 million in Q2 2013 — a result that Cook insisted had more to do with fluctuating inventory levels than slowing consumer demand.

Did sales bounce back in Q3? The 26 analysts Fortune polled are almost evenly divided on the question, with slightly more expecting iPad sales to be lower this quarter than they were the same quarter last year.

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 5.53.46 AMThe average estimate — 14.35 million — suggests that iPad sales were down sequentially and flat year over year. But behind that average is a rather wide range, from a high of 16 million (submitted by Asymco’s Horace Dediu and Hilliard’s Stephen Turner) to a low of 12.26 million (from Canaccord’s T. Michael Walkley).

We’ll find out who was closest to the mark when Apple reports its fiscal Q3 2014 earnings after the markets close on Tuesday, July 22.

Below: The individual analyst’s estimates — pros in blue, indies in green. Thanks as always to Posts at Eventide‘s Robert Paul Leitao for pulling together the Braeburn Group numbers.

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Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple AAPL coverage at or subscribe (free!) via his RSS feed.