Analysts Bet the Over-Under on How Many iPads Apple Sold Last Quarter

Q4 2012 (or Q1 2013 by Apple’s accounting) might have been another knockout quarter for iPad sales, but analysts are bouncing between double in 2012 compared to 2011 or just 3%. I think the safe bet is: a lot.

screen-shot-2013-01-12-at-5-49-44-amThe intro to the Fortune article paints the right picture:

Sales of Apple’s (AAPL) iPad grew from zero to 7.3 million units in 2010 and doubled in 2011 to 15.4 million.

According to our most bullish independent analysts, they doubled again in calendar 2012.

According to the most bearish professional – Argus Research’s Jim Kelleher – they grew (once you factor out 2011’s extra week) only 3%.

Source: Fourtune.

Analysts estimates are, well, varied. But based on averaging data from 56 analysts (full chart below), Fortune comes up with this:

The median estimate among all the analysts we polled is 24 million. That represents 67% year-over-year growth if you factor out 2011 extra week and 55% if (for shame) you don’t.

I think the strong sales in China to wrap the year and strong sales of iPads and minis elsewhere Oct–Dec, make the >50% year over year estimate a solid bet.

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