Apple expected to report monster quarter, 8M iPad sales

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to report another quarter of massive profits and revenue growth when its posts earnings after the market closes today. However, the focus of the analyst community will be less on Apple's results and more on its outlook for the second half of the year, when it is expected to unveil a new iPhone model.

According to a survey of analysts by Bloomberg, Apple is expected to report net profit of $5.5 billion in its fiscal third quarter, and revenue is expected to surge 59 percent to $25 billion, as sales of the iPhone and iPad continue fueling Apple's growth.

While there is some discrepancy among forecasts by analysts polled by Bloomberg and Reuters, Apple is expected to sell between 7.77 million and 8 million iPads in the quarter, which would beat its previous record of 7.3 million. According to Reuters, Apple is expected to sell between 17 and 18 million iPhones in the quarter, more than double its shipments from the year-ago period but less than the 18.6 million it shipped in the first quarter. Analysts have said interest in the iPhone 4 is starting to wane in advance of a new model.

The expectations for the new iPhone and Apple's second half in general will be something analysts will closely parse during the company's earnings conference call. Apple usually offers conservative guidance and then handily beats it. Reports have indicated that Apple will produce a thinner, faster iPhone with a better camera; the iPhone rumor mill has kicked into overdrive in advance of a possible September unveiling. 

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article
- see this Fortune article

Special Report: Wireless in the second quarter of 2011

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