Unlike this time last year, analysts are going conservative for iPhone and iPad sales figures for 2013. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich has dropped his previous estimates for iPhone by around 5 million units per quarter, and the iPad was cut by 2 million. What that means is that Mr. Milunovich expects Apple to sell 21.7 million iPads in the March quarter, 24.5 million in the June quarter and 20.7 million in the September quarter. iPhone sales are predicted to be around 41M, 36M and 33M in the same quarters, respectively.
Part of the reason for this drop in estimates is that checks with production lines seem to indicate that Apple is preparing to lower its productivity to 25 million iPhones for the March quarter. Despite the phone launching in China recently, analysts doubt it’ll do as well as the 4S did. Also, the iPad mini is apparently cannibalizing iPad sales (as we read earlier in the week).
It’s not all bad news for Apple though. There are strong rumors stating that Cupertino is about to strike a deal with China Mobile (the world’s biggest carrier) to launch the iPhone on its network. If that happens, it’ll open up the iPhone to a market of hundreds of millions of customers (703 million in fact). Even if only 10% of those customers get an iPhone, that’ll be a remarkable number of iPhone users.