Analyst Says iPhone Sales May Have Topped 50 Million for Holiday Quarter

On Thursday, MMW confirmed that Apple will release Q1 earnings for its new fiscal year on January 23, 2013. The results will include sales information from the holiday quarter ending December 31st, 2012.

Fewer than 24 hours after Apple’s confirmation of the upcoming earnings call, analysts already are coming out of the woodwork to project what the numbers might look like later this month.

Rob Cihra of Evercore Partners is among the most optimistic of the lot. He believes Apple’s earnings report will reveal sales of 50 million iPhones. That would represent a 35 percent year-on-year increase. Such a strong showing of holiday sales would also translate to 86 percent growth from the previous quarter (Apple’s 4Q 2012).

iPad sales expectations are pegged at 24 million units, although iPad mini sales expectations have been raised by Cihra in recent days from 8 to 10 million units. He is maintaining revenue estimates at $56.3 billion.

If the numbers truly shake out that way, it will be a boon to AAPL, which has struggled in the final weeks of 2012. A strong report later this month might do more than anything else to kick-start 2013 investor optimism in AAPL.

Shares of Apple are trading at $547.97 as of late Thursday morning, with a 52-week range of $409.00-$705.07.

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