Apple Expected To Deem iPad Sales A Success

SEATTLE (AP) — Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone, Macintosh computers and other consumer electronics, is scheduled to report its fiscal third-quarter results Tuesday after the stock market closes.

Remember the iPad? While all the buzz in recent weeks has been about the iPhone 4, the newest smart phone from Apple was only in stores for a few days before the fiscal quarter ended.

The quarter will, however, be the first to reflect sales of Apple's tablet computer. The iPad, which launched in early April, is the company's first venture into an entirely new product category since it introduced the original iPhone in 2007.

The iPad is more than a smart phone, but it's not quite a laptop. When the device launched, analysts wondered whether it would keep selling after all the early adopters had one. The open question: what, exactly, people would do with the thing.

Several analysts boosted their expectations for iPad unit sales in the quarter, including Shaw Wu, of Kaufman Bros., raised his forecast to 3.5 million iPads from 3.3 million.

Analysts will also be looking for signs that the iPad is luring shoppers who might have bought one of Apple's other products — a MacBook laptop or an iPod Touch, which is like an iPhone but without the phone.

Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world at building products consumers don't yet know they want and turning them into blockbusters. IPad sales will be an early referendum on whether Apple's still got its mojo.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Apple to say it earned $3.11 per share in the quarter on $14.7 billion in revenue.

In the fiscal third quarter of 2009, Apple earned $1.35 per share on $8.3 billion in revenue.