Review of Apple's unit numbers released in legal filing prior to earnings

Thanks to Nilay Patel at This is My Next for posting the complaint filed on April 15th against Samsung by Apple which revealed some potentially material data about its performance in the last quarter (which won’t be public until the 20th).

On page 4:

“As of March 2011, more than 108 million iPhones had been sold worldwide”
“By March 2011, Apple had sold over 60 million (iPod touch) units.”

On page 5:

“By March 2011, Apple sold over 19 million iPads”.

These numbers are material because we know units sold prior to CQ1 and can derive the minimum units sold for these three product lines during Q1.


  • Total iPhones sold before Q1: 89,971,000 implying a minimum of 18.1 million sold during the quarter (my estimate is 18.4)
  • Total iPod touch sold before Q1 (estimated): 55.5 million implying a minimum of 4.5 million iPod touch sold during the quarter (my estimate 5 million)
  • Total iPads sold before Q1: 14,789,000 implying a minimum of 4.2 million iPads sold during the quarter (my estimate is 7.3 million).

The only outlier in terms of delta to my estimates is the iPad units which has always been the wildcard.

Apple published lower bound figures but it’s a matter of speculation as to how far below actuals they are. Nevertheless, I would treat the iPad numbers with extreme caution.