Predicting iOS Shipments Based On Apple's Forecast Capital Expenditure

31 July 2012


It shows the same data but as an X-Y scatter plot where the X axis is quarterly spending and the Y axis is iOS unit shipments. Note that the actual data points are in the lower left area delineated with a dashed red rectangle.

I drew the blue line corresponding to an assumed linear relationship between the two variables to project the iOS output based on additional expenditures for FQ3 and FQ4.

I used error bars of -20% to show a possible conservative range.3

This yields an iOS output of approximately between 65 and 80 million units in the current quarter and 100 to 125 million in the fourth calendar quarter. The sum of the low ends of this estimate is 165 million units.

My current forecast is 53 million units in CQ3 and 110 million units in CQ4 which, together, add up 163 million. Close enough.

The entire process is very interesting, but only one line resonates on reflection: “100 million units in CGQ4”. On the last earnings conference call, Apple said that they had shipped 410 million iOS devices to date. If Dediu’s estimates are roughly correct, Apple will grow the total for all iOS devices sold to date by about 25%, in one quarter.