Analyst: The iPhone Was Apple’s Q1 Star

more iphone5Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) fiscal first quarter was a standout one for the iPhone, whose sales will beat consensus estimates when the company announces its earnings report on January 23, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said. According to Kuo, Apple’s “main products,” including the iPhone and the iPad, saw a growth in quarter-over-quarter shipments over the last three months of last year.

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Apple shipped 52 million units of the iPhone during the December-ending quarter to grow 93 percent quarter-over-quarter and 41 percent year-over-year, the analyst predicted, according to a research note seen by AppleInsider. Of all models of the smartphone, the iPhone 5 accounted for more than 35 million units, the iPhone 4S brought in 9.5 million unit sales, and the iPhone 4 followed with 7.3 million.

All product lines of the iPad, meanwhile, came up to a total of 23 million unit shipments for a 49 percent year-over-year increase, Kuo predicted. Of these, 9.3 million units of the fourth-generation iPad were shipped, while the iPad mini made up 8.2 million shipments. The smaller tablet, which was worrying analysts for its potential to cannibalize sales of its larger version, stayed short because of supply chain issues at display maker AU Optronic (NYSE:AUO), Kuo added.

Apple also shipped 3.9 million units of the MacBook line, up only 7 percent from a year ago. The slow growth can be attributed to surprisingly low interest for the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, the analyst said. Combined Mac shipments came in at just 4.75 million units because of low numbers from the iMac line. Those sales were down 18 percent quarter-over-quarter because of shipment delays and channel inventory issues with the upgraded 27-inch version of the computer, which essentially only started shipping in full steam in January, Kuo said.

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While Kuo’s holiday-quarter estimates were on the higher side, he predicted a rather conservative second quarter, which is Apple’s second of the fiscal year. According to the analyst, Apple was seeing a lull usual for the first quarter of a calendar year, with problems including a poor product mix and weak gross margins.

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