The conference call date for Apple’s latest quarterly numbers was finally announced this week as being at Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. PDT. The biggest question isn’t about profit or sales, however, but who will be doing the speaking: Could it be Steve Jobs?
Jobs was last heard on an Apple (s aapl) conference call in October 2008. While no reason was given for his presence then, it could be argued that his participation was designed to assuage concerns about his health. In January, Jobs took a leave of absence to deal with those health issues, and was later revealed to have undergone a liver transplant. Since returning to work at Apple in June, his highest-profile appearance has been as a spectator at a concert. Even if Jobs is not at the call, expect analysts to ask about his health. But that won’t be the only topic discussed.
- In terms of revenue and profit, the consensus is around $1.15 EPS on revenue of around $8 billion. As Apple has a history of setting the bar low on guidance, expect the company to beat that.
- Mac sales estimates are all over the place. IDC and Gartner have Mac sales down and flat, respectively. Individual analysts are projecting numbers from just over 2 million to as high as 2.5 million. Estimates have been trending up based on higher than expected sales of the new 13″ MacBook Pro. For the same period last year, Apple sold 2.496 million Macs.
- iPod sales are thought to be in the range of 11 million units sold, same as last year. However, the iPod touch has been doing increasingly well for Apple, selling approximately the same number of units as the iPhone in recent quarters.
- iPhone sales will likely be down or flat from the previous quarter, which saw nearly 3.8 million sold, the reason being anticipation of the iPhone 3GS. Sales of the original iPhone dropped by more than half in the quarter immediately before the release of the iPhone 3G.
Since the iPhone 3GS went on sale during the current quarter, Apple may comment on sales beyond the first weekend of one million units sold, but probably not. Don’t expect the company to be forthcoming about the rumored tablet for October, either, though there will no doubt be pejorative remarks about netbooks. As always, what is said, and who says it, will be reported by TheAppleBlog.