How many iPhones did Apple sell last quarter?
FORTUNE — There’s a lot chatter in the tech press right now about iPhone sales to China Mobile (CHL), Apple’s (AAPL) newest and biggest partner.
But when the company reports its earnings a week from Monday, the iPhone result traders will be keyed in on is how many units Apple sold in the quarter before the China Mobile deal.
With a crop of new phones, a year’s pent-up demand, plenty of supply, more Apple stores and lots of holiday shoppers, there’s no reason Apple shouldn’t turn in another record quarter of iPhone sales — Android and Samsung be damned.
The consensus estimate among the 44 analysts we’ve heard from so far — 27 professionals and 17 amateurs — is unit sales of 55.3 million iPhones, up 16% from the same quarter last year.
This time, the pros and the amateurs are not that far apart.
The average among the more bullish indies is 57.1 million iPhones; the pros are at 54.1 million. The gap between the highest individual estimate and lowest is 9.7 million. A year ago, the gap between high and low was almost 20 million.
We’ll find out who was closest to the mark when Apple reports its fiscal Q1 2014 earnings after the markets close on Monday, Jan 27.
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.