As they were dusting off their Apple spreadsheets in advance of Monday’s earnings report, it dawned on some analysts that they might have underestimated last quarter’s iPhone sales.
In the space of three days last week, four of them issued notes raising their fiscal Q2 unit sales numbers:
— Stifel Nicholaus’s Aaron Rakers to 59.6 million iPhones
— Bernstein’s Toni Sacchonghi to 59.6 million
— CLSA’s Avi Silver to 58.78 million
— Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty to 57-58 million
The most wrenching change: The extra 6 million iPhones that took Aaron Rakers to 59.6 million.
Among the factors Rakers, Sacconaghi, Silver and Huberty mention:
- Strong sales in Brazil, India and especially China, where Apple had adequate supplies of iPhone 6/6+ on retail shelves just in time for Asian New Year
- Rapid expansion of China Mobile’s 4G service (53 million new subscribers last quarter alone)
- The estimated 1 to 2 million units Apple might have shipped to refill shelves left empty after Christmas
Fortune’s average estimate last week was 56.8 million iPhones, up 29.9% year over year. Today it’s 57.2 million, up 30.9%.