Philip Elmer DeWitt for Fortune:
The consensus among the 44 analysts we've heard from so far – 27 professionals and 17 amateurs – is unit sales of 55.3 million iPhones, up 16% from the same quarter last year.
This time, the pros and the amateurs are not that far apart. The average among the more bullish indies is 57.1 million iPhones; the pros are at 54.1 million. The gap between the highest individual estimate and lowest is 9.7 million. A year ago, the gap between high and low was almost 20 million. link
Apple looks to have sold a huge amount of phones last quarter1, but we're quite confident that we'll continue to hear analysts/pundits begging Apple CEO Tim Cook to respond to whatever feature or form factor that Samsung's “everything but the kitchen sink” R&D department has cooked up, despite that company's lackluster 2013 last quarter.
We'll know for sure when Apple releases earnings on January 27. ↩