How many iPads did Apple sell last quarter?

According to 25 of the 30 analysts Fortune polled in advance of Apple’s earnings report Monday, this will be the third quarter in a row that iPad sales have fallen year over year.

In Q2 they fell 16% compared with the same period last year. In Q3 they fell 9%. And based on the average estimate from our panel of 30 analysts — 21 Wall Street professionals and 9 amateurs — they may have fallen 10% in Q4.

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The reasons for the iPad’s slackening sales were pretty thoroughly raked over in April (see Three ways of looking at Apple’s slowing iPad sales) and again in July (What’s wrong with Apple’s iPad?).

But unless Apple reports record weekend pre-orders of the new iPads unveiled on Thursday — or if the five more bullish analysts turn out to be right — we’re likely to hear about them again next week.

For the record, the amateur analysts this time around were more bearish about the iPad than the pros. We’ll find out who was closest to the mark when Apple reports after the markets close on Monday, Oct. 20.

Below: The individual analyst’s Q4 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 via his RSS feed.

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