How many iPads did Apple sell last quarter?
Viewed in the context of IDC’s chart at right — which shows worldwide growth in tablet shipments falling off a cliff — the iPad sales numbers Apple announces next Monday might not look so bad.
Another down quarter — the third in a row — is what Fortune’s panel of analysts is expecting.
We’ve heard from 28 so far — 18 professionals and 10 amateur. Their estimates range from a low of 12 million to a high of 16.35 million. Average estimate: 14 million, a 14% drop year over year.
IDC expects the rest of the tablet market — mostly Android, some Microsoft — to grow, albeit slowly, over the next few years.
The iPad seems to be moving rather more quickly in the opposite direction.
But don’t cry for Apple. It came out of the first years of explosive tablet growth with a lock on the most profitable segments of the business. With IBM selling iPads into the largely untapped enterprise market, Apple is free to concentrate on establishing a lead in what it’s betting will be the next big product category.
As they were in Q1, the amateur analysts are a bit more bearish about the iPad than the pros.
Below: The individual analyst’s Q4 estimates — pros in blue, indies in green. We’ll find out who was closest to the mark when Apple reports its fiscal Q2 2015 earnings after the markets close on Monday, April 27.
Thanks once again to Posts at Eventide‘s Robert Paul Leitao for pulling together the Braeburn Group numbers.