Apple rumoured to have sold 52 million iPhones in Q4

Daniel Bader

January 16, 2013 8:49pm

Rumours of Apple’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported on information received from insiders at Japan’s Nikkei index that Apple had cut its iPhone 5 display order in half from 65 million. To analysts and critics alike this indicated disastrous news for the once-impenetrable phone manufacturer, whose stock has dropped over 30% since its all-time high last September. The problem with the reported information was its almost certain inaccuracy, and doesn’t take into account a natural weakening of consumer demand after an extremely busy holiday season.

In other words, any cuts in display orders correspond to a predictable slide in iPhone sales for the new year. Despite a rapidly-shrinking stock price, Apple is bound by law not to comment on such things; it has to wait until January 23rd to report its Q4 earnings which will, predictably, be stellar.

According to AppleInsider, a leaked document sent to investors this week cites iPhone sales of 52 million for the quarter ending December 31st. This includes all current models being sold around the world, including the discounted iPhone 4 and 4S. iPhone 5 sales are expected to be 35 million, some nine million more than all the iPhones sold in Q3. In other words, an almost-100% increase quarter-over-quarter, and a year-over-year gain of over 40% is not out of the cards, which will inevitably lead to the company’s highest-grossing quarter ever.

So why the doom and gloom? It could be that Samsung, Nokia and RIM are all bullish on their smartphone sales, or it may be attributable to a cyclical change in consumer tastes. It may be that the iPhone is no longer the “it” phone, and won’t be again until the company dramatically changes either the hardware design or the software it runs on. It’s also likely that Android as a product, and Samsung as a company, has managed to cut well into Apple’s indestructible image; there have been over 30 million Galaxy S III’s sold since its May launch, which is still lower than the number of iPhone 5’s Apple is expected to have sold in Q4 alone, but a mighty number nonetheless.

More than anything, these mammoth numbers from all camps speak to the rise of the smartphone in general, and the prospect of another healthy year in 2013 for all involved companies. Manufacturers like LG, Sony, HTC, Huawei, Nokia and RIM are aiming to take some market share away from Apple and Samsung in the coming months, but it’s a two horse race for the foreseeable future.

Source: AppleInsider, Forbes

  • RP

    I don’t get how rumours of low demand can be ‘proved’ baseless by other rumours

    • Fartknocker

      R.I.P Android.

    • Platinum

      ” Rumours of Apple’s death have been greatly exaggerated”
      I’m not a fan of Apple but they sell more than 4.3Million phones PER WEEK and Syrup publishes this??

      Apple sells more iphones in three weeks than RIM in 3 months and there is no:
      Rumours of RIM’s death have been greatly exaggerated?

      In the last two weeks, since Syrup took some money from RIM, the bias has been clear.

      Every Canadian WANTED RIM to succeed, but they simply took forever to bring to market (To stores actually) the new phones; we simply don’t care anymore, RIM is as relevant as Britney Spears these days.

    • phreezerburn

      Because Apple will sue the pants off of anyone tossing up the figures for “acivated” handsets.

  • skazzers


  • CRTC

    52 Million suckers

    The CRTC only endorses android and possibly BB10 when the firesale happens.

  • RL

    Looking good for wool supplies if it’s true.

  • Rip Apple


  • WhoDaaat

    probably they mean all Q4s from all the years….they didn’t even have supply to begin with and now they say 52 million lol

    • Rio

      You really cant complain about apple’s supply after the awesome job Google’s did with the nexus 4 supply.

    • WhoDaaat

      Where did I say Google was better? the article is abt Apple and not Google.. “as far as I know” smart c**t

    • Brad F

      google doesnt make the phones. LG does.

  • Brad F(anboy)

    Talk about stock-manipulating rumours.

    If you want to make money in the stock market just learn how to manipulate AAPL. Apparently it’s super-easy.

  • Fartknocker

    Looks like people are sick of that laggy plastic Android garbage and are finally getting real phones.

  • s_hanson

    Baa Baa iSheep

  • Jay

    “Leaked memo to investors” – any sales information has to be publically disceminated. There cannot be “secret memo’s” as this would be conisdered insider info only targeted to certain owners.

  • Craig

    Jumpin Jeebus on a pogostick, people! This is not ‘Highlander’ and there is no ‘there can only be one!’

    There’s plenty of room in the market for several operating systems and dozens of handsets. The competition keeps innovation strong and prices low.

  • boojay

    More and more I’m seeing iPhone users switch over to Android and the demand for iSh*t decreasing. It’s a beautiful thing.

    • Fartknocker

      And by decreasing you mean doubling their Q4 sales from last year? Nobody ever said fandroids were smart

  • piko

    What is a iphone!!!

    • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack


      You have an “a versus an” problem. Stay in school.

  • piko

    Jobs not a genius! He stolled ideas…. Period

    • John

      “stolled” Nice…

    • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack


      Try summer school too.

  • AWSguy

    Wow so we are now reaching conclusions about a rumour from another rumour.

  • tony

    All I see is iPhones for sale on kijiji

  • s_hanson


  • andy c

    I see more gs3’s on the TTC and at my workplace the iPhone 5’s. Even if apple’s numbers are close to the rumored amount its impressive even you are not a apple fan

    Full disclosure: mY wife uses an iPhone 5. I i use a Nexus4

  • Slype

    I would truly be surprised if Apples sales/profits were down… As much as I dislike their phones, I know they hold an appeal to certain people and while they only hold 20% of the world market, that 20% is extremely loyal (a bit too loyal in my eyes since they cannot see the iPhone has fallen behind in most areas over the past 2 years)

    Apple will be with us for a few years to come so it’s best to accept that and just try to shut out their Peter Molyneux style of marketing and their rabid fans.

    • stalemate

      Not 20%. 14%. Down from 15% last year. They were below Symbian at 17% and barely outselling RIM.

      Compared to Android’s 72% market share worldwide. Up 20% from last year’s 53%. Apple didn’t pick up any of those who dropped RIM and Symbian, and actually lost out a little.

      Apple’s phone OS never had top rank market, despite all its rhetoric, and now never will.

  • Mark

    IPhones are selling well because of all the 0$ iPhone 4/4S on contract carriers have been pushing in Q4. I’m not saying they’re bad devices but these people will eventually realize that they bought their phone just because of the brand and it didn’t really have much to offer compare to what the competition is bringing. Eventually iPhones won’t be as popular and more ppl will go to Android, WP8 and BB10.

  • SC

    The next big thing is already here

  • screamer

    There are phones they sell also good and that makes it harder for apple or rim to sell there products. So doesn’t surprise me if they loose money and with a phone that has nothing special. If you have a imac and all this gadgets go get an iPhone but why?

  • Oscar

    I’ve always known that while Android is becoming more popular with the success of the S3, the iPhone is still undeniably a popular phone.

  • phreezerburn

    Seriously people? Since when is a quarterly containing the launch of a new FLAGSHIP DEVICE the same as the quarter that cam before which had no such launch to bolster sales? Crack a book.

  • Gman

    nikkei reported that they cut the iphone 5 LCD panels orders by 50% due to low demand. Usually nekkei nikkei rumors turns out pretty accurate. Too lazy to post source jsut google it.