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Analysts predict strong iPhone performance for Apple

Apple's fiscal Q1 2012 earnings report: Predictions

Apple is widely expected to announce strong iPhone sales in its fiscal Q1 2012 earnings report later today, with the iPad also tipped to have sold well.

Analysts haven't been backward in coming forward with their predictions for the quarterly earnings call which will take place at 10pm GMT tonight and can be followed here.

CBS quotes FactSet as saying Wall Street expects Apple to announce earnings of $10.04 per share and revenue of $38.92 billion. This would be up on the figures from this time last year when Apple earned $6.43 per share on $26.74 billion in revenue.

The CBS report quotes Michael Walkley at Canaccord Genuity as saying that the company will announce sales of around 30.5 million iPhones and 13 million iPads in the quarter.

Analysts across the board think that iOS devices will have performed well, with Fortune polling a number of professional and independent industry-watchers last week.

It came up with an average figure of just under 14 million for iPad sales - with some going as high as 19.5 million - while the average prediction for iPhone sales was between 25 million and 35 million.

ZDNet cites Jeffries' analyst Peter Misek who believes that the iPhone will be a star performer for the quarter with sales of 35 million. The iPad is also going to have a strong quarter, with sales reaching 13.5 million, Misek said.

Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes predicted a decline in iPod sales, though, saying that "the iPod category is no longer really material to Apple from a financial standpoint". However, Reitzes believes Mac sales will be strong, growing a staggering 22 percent year-on-year.

BusinessWeek asked Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu to pick out the top-performing products for the quarter.

Wu said: "It'll be a strong quarter driven a lot by the iPhone 4S. The other thing is the Mac business, around the MacBook Air."

However, Agee said that cautious predictions were understandable. "There's a risk in technology that things change - it wasn't that long ago that RIM owned this space and they no longer do.

Meanwhile, in the same interview, Wedge Partners' Brian Blair said that though iPhone performance was likely to be strong, "the iPad is going to be the big headline".

There's not long to go until we'll find out just how accurate the predictions are. You can follow the announcement from 10pm GMT.

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