Apple comes to the table on April 20, at 2 PM Pacific, to reveal what will likely be year another record fiscal 2Q11. Financial numbers are one thing, but how Apple achieves them is another.
There's been a lot of speculation revolving around Apple's supply chain for iPad 2 and MacBook batteries since the Japan quake and Tsunami. But a few hints from Apple may be revealing another story. The truth. On April 20th we'll learn a lot based on the little information Apple delivers.
Analysts earnings estimates peg Apple at $5.32 a share, with revenues of $23.15 billion, although Wall St. hasn't faired so well vs the amateurs, and I wouldn't count on anything changing soon. One blogger that has a pretty amazing track record is Daniel Tello at Deagol's AAPL Model blog, who has Apple pegged at $25.3 billion in revenues, and a whopping $6.32 in earnings per share. I'm not much of a betting man, but if I had to, I'd probably lay my entire estate on Daniel's call vs the "experts."
One clue to Apple not taking a financial hit this quarter is iPad 2's availability. In the US, ship times for new iPad 2's has dropped from 4-5 weeks, to 2-3 weeks, yet lines are still piling up in front of most Apple retail stores on a daily basis. An international launch has also been shoehorned into the mix. On a qualitative note, I've been told by Apple retail employees that shipment numbers of iPad 2's are steadily increasing.
It's safe to say no one has a firm grip on iPad 2 shipment figures, and Apple never delivered any "1 million iPad 2's sold" statement, so guessing is as good as it's going to get. Taking a quick snapshot for the quarter, the overall iPad sales figures may fall into the 7 - 8 million range. Throw in a constantly strong demand for MacBook Air and Apple's latest MacBook Pro systems (that have impressive Intel SandyBridge technology built-in), and Mac sales are likely to once again pierce the 20%+ year-over-year growth rates.
At the end of the day on April 20th, what will Apple's financial results reveal? Apple's going to show the market that they have the ability to still grow Mac sales along their constant growth curve, while selling record numbers of iPads. Many do not believe this can happen, but only the Windows PC industry stands to be canibalized.