Eyes Are on iPhone Sales for Apple Q4 Earnings

Apple is coming out with its fourth-quarter earnings report, which may be highlighted by an increase in iPhone sales, particularly as a result of Apple's new iPhone 5C and 5S, released last month.

The Q4 earnings and sales report will likely provide a clear picture of the smartphone marketplace and whether or not Apple's slightly cheaper iPhone 5C was a hit or not. Based upon early sales statistics, it is unlikely that the 5C will prove to be one of Apple's best-selling devices, but the report should provide a far better idea of how good or bad it really is.

Low Expectations

Despite coming out with two new smartphones, analysts seem doubtful when it comes to Apple's ability to increase its profits. Instead, the 47 analysts that have published research on Apple expect its profits to fall, compared with this time last year. These predictions are based upon an average earnings estimate of $7.92 a share.

However, it is not all bad news for Apple. The same analysts expect sales to rise by 2 percent, reaching $36.8 billion. The actual earnings report seems to be less interesting than the sales number and trajectory of the iPhone 5S and 5C. Both phones have sold well, but the 5C failed to take off in overseas countries, where analysts hoped it would become popular.

Since Apple's sales numbers are expected to increase this quarter, the company may end up having one of its strongest holiday quarters on record. While expectations for the report are low, next quarter is expected to be far stronger.

The 5C Conundrum

Perhaps the most important set of information expected to come out from Apple is the iPhone 5C's trajectory sales numbers. Although iPhone sales have increased as a whole, it is likely that the high-end iPhone 5S has had to pick up the 5C's slack,...

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