Analysts forecast another record quarter for Apple with 55.3 million iPhones sold

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apple, iphone, sales, analysts, iphone 5s, ipad mini 2, iphone 5c, ipad air

Apple has garnered a lot of media attention over the past week or so with regard to their deal to finally sell the iPhone through China Mobile. But as Cupertino gears up to release quarterly financials next week, the attention will turn to how many iPhones the company sold during the holiday quarter – or, before the China Mobile deal was inked.

The iPhone 5s, released earlier in the year, may have only been an incremental upgrade but that did little to curb customer demand during the holiday buying season. Despite the fact that supply was an issue early on, the smartphone was readily available throughout the holidays. And for the first time ever, Apple launched two new models at the same time (the iPhone 5c).

Information from 44 analysts – 27 professionals and 17 rookies – suggests that Apple sold a record 55.3 million iPhones during the last three months of 2013. That’s good for a 16 percent increase from the same period a year before.

Breaking it down a bit further, the pros believe Apple sold an average of 54.1 million handsets while the amateur estimates were a little higher at 57.1 million units. The gap between the highest and lowest estimates was only 9.7 million, down from nearly 20 million last year.

Analysts also expect Apple to turn in a strong quarter in terms of iPad sales. The company launched two new models early in the quarter and also lowered the price of the original iPad mini. We’ll know for sure come next Monday when Apple reports earnings after the markets close.

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