Verizon numbers suggest Apple sold over 50M iPhones last quarter

iPhone 5 in Apple Store

Apple is set to announce its iPhone sales and other figures from the holiday quarter tomorrow, in what many are calling its most important earnings report of the last decade. Recently, rumors of slipping iPhone and iPad demand have driven the company’s stock down to $500. And this is its chance to start turning things around.

The focal point will be on iPhone numbers, since the handsets account for half of Apple’s business. And it needs to have sold in upwards of 50 million of them to avoid disappointing the Street. Well according to analyst Brian White, they hit that mark and then some…

AppleInsider relays a note by Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, which was issued to shareholders this morning. White points to Verizon’s recently-released earnings report, where the carrier announced that it activated 6.2 million iPhones during the last three months.

“Over the past six quarters, Verizon has accounted for 11 percent of Apple’s total iPhone shipments. If that 11 percent holds for the December quarter, it would mean Apple shipped a whopping 56 million iPhones during the three-month period.

Even if Verizon accounted for 12 percent of iPhones shipped in the quarter, White noted, it would still result in 51 million iPhones shipped.”

And there’s more evidence that Apple put up strong iPhone sales last quarter. For one, AT&T’s iPhone activations are typically higher than Verizon. So even if we’re conservative and say it did 7 million, that still gets Apple more than 1/5 of the way to 50 from just two carriers.

Also keep in mind that the iPhone 5 saw Apple’s fastest international handset rollout ever, reaching more than 100 countries in just three months. And it broke a number of opening weekend sales records along the way, including launches in the United States, India, and China.

That being said, we could go over these types of stats for hours, but the only numbers that really matter are the ones that Apple puts up tomorrow. The earnings call kicks off at 2:00pm Pacific, and as usual, we will be covering all announcements. So make sure you tune in.