Analysts revise estimates ahead of Apple’s Q4 earnings call

Apple is all set to announce its fiscal Q4 financial earnings today, during a conference call with company executives scheduled for 2 p.m. PST/ 5 p.m. EST. iPhone 5 sales are expected to be a topic of conversation, of course, while recent predictions from 59 analysts provided an average estimate of 26.3 million iPhones total for the quarter. Today, Forbes posted revised estimates from 36 of the analysts that also includes predictions for iPhone, iPod, Mac, and other product sales.

A few things we already know from CEO Tim Cook’s announcements during the iPad mini event: 5 million iPhones 5s sold during opening weekend, 3 million new iPod nano and touch units sold, and 200 million iOS 6 devices. Cook also noted the company has now sold 100 million iPads in 2.5 years and more iPads in June than any PC manufacturers’ entire PC lineup.

In Q3 Apple reported revenues of $35 billion. As for Q4, Apple predicted during its last conference call that revenues for the fourth quarter would be around $34 billion with diluted earnings per share of about $7.65. Today, Forbes pointed us to updated estimates from Wall Street showing a consensus of $8.81 on sales of $36.02 billion.

Forbes has also posted revised estimates from 36 analysts (below). Among the 20 pros in the group, the average estimate is $8.75 on sales of $35.51 billion. The independents, on the other hand, have earnings of $9.66 on sales of $37.23 billion.

As you can see from the chart of the 36 analysts below (pros in blue), the high-end of iPhone estimates hit the 32 million-unit mark, while one independent has Mac sales as high as 5.70 million units:

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Apple LTE chip supplier Qualcomm unable to meet demand, could push back next iPhone launch

According to a report from Reuters, Apple’s LTE chip supplier Qualcomm is having “trouble meeting demand” for smartphone chips and will continue experiencing manufacturing constraints throughout the rest of the year. Qualcomm Chief Executive Paul Jacobs told analysts on a conference call yesterday, “At this stage we cannot secure enough supply to meet the increasing demand we are experiencing.”

With Apple’s next-generation iPhone expected to include LTE capabilities like the recently launched third-gen iPad, many are speculating Qualcomm’s supply issues could lead to delays. It would also make the rumored September or October unveiling and holiday launch all the more likely opposed to June. Is it possible Qualcomm’s supply constraints have anything to do with Apple buying up its capacity?

Apple recently began internally seeding prototype N96— a faster iPhone with 1GB of RAM and an A5X variant to test the performance of the new chip on iPhones.

Qualcomm’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Keitel told Reuters the constraints have lead to increased operating expenses: Read more