For the just concluded June quarter, Apple could announce iPad sales of 20 million units. If correct, this would be more than double the number of iPads sold during the same quarter last year, according to a new report by AppleInsider.

These new estimates come from Charlie Wolf with Needham & Company, who suggests iPad sales could eventually eclipse those for the iPhone. In fact, Wolf himself admits that his earlier projections were wrong. Earlier, he had assumed Apple would sell 13.5 million units this quarter. On this, he called his earlier projection one based on “hastily formulated” numbers.

He states:

The iPad is invading the business market at a much faster pace than the iPhone. In addition, the iPad will launch in China on July 20th. This should provide a significant boost in sales now that Apple is providing Chinese languages and services on its iOS platform.

If Wolf’s projection holds, it would be the best iPad sales quarter for Apple. In the December 2011 quarter, the company sold a record 15 million iPads. Last quarter, Apple sold 11.8 million units.

Wolf suggests the iPad’s improving strength comes from strong sales in businesses and educational institutions. Additionally, he believes the $399 iPad 2 has been a major seller for Apple.

For iPhone sales, Wolf projects Apple selling 28 million units during the June quarter. That would be down from the 35 million units Apple sold during the previous quarter.

He states:

The assumption underlying our forecast of a sequential quarterly decline is that some customers have begun to postpone their purchases of an iPhone 4S in advance of a much widely publicized introduction of the new iPhone this fall.

The next iPhone is expected to arrive in September or October.

Apple will report earnings for their third fiscal quarter, April through June, during a conference call on Tuesday, July 24.

Why does the iPad continue to surprise analysts?

Source: AppleInsider