December, quarter


New Member
I've read the article on
NPD data shows Apple on track to sell record 4.3M Macs in Dec. quarter

New November domestic sales data from the NPD Group was released Monday, and analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray said it shows Apple on pace to sell between 4.1 million and 4.3 million Macs in the December quarter. Early estimates have found that Apple's U.S. sales are up 20 percent year-over-year for the first two months of the quarter."

I am confused by the words "December quarter". I don't know exactly the meaning of these words.
"December quarter" means the 4th quarter of the year or December - the last month in a year.
Thank you for your assistance!
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  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think someone has just gone astray. As you see with "for the first two months of the quarter," the writer knows that the fourth quarter of the year has more than one month, so I imagine simply "December" was meant.

    Welcome to the forum. You've brought your confusion to the right place. :)

    Edit: Second thoughts in post 4 thanks to a little edgy.
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    Much as I hate to disagree with Copyright :), the use of phrases like "on pace" and "on track" suggests to me that the writer really is talking about projections for total quarterly sales.

    I interpret "December quarter" to mean the fourth quarter of the year - that is, the quarter composed of October, November and December.

    Not all organizations work on a calendar year. Many work on fiscal years that do not run concurrently with a calendar year. For that reason, I suppose some writers might choose to identify quarters by months rather than by sequence. From there, it is a short step from saying "October-December quarter" to just "December quarter."

    On the other hand, this is mostly speculation, as I'm not familiar with this usage. Where I work, we are on a July-June fiscal year, but we still talk about first, second, etc., quarters. (The fourth quarter of the year for us is April-June.)


    Senior Member
    American English
    Go ahead, disagree -- I might learn something. :) While I still don't think December quarter, to mean the quarter with December in it, is the height of clarity, a little Google searching shows that I'm in the business minority.

    Thanks for the enlightenment, edgy. :D


    Senior Member
    English (British)
    The phrase [ December quarter ] typically means the 3-month period ending in December (i.e. typically the fourth quarter).

    It is named with the month that identifies the end of the period that the relevant figures apply to.

    [ The December quarterly sales figures ] refers to the sales in that quarter (not just that month). No matter how quickly the figures were made available, they could not logically be available before the end of the quarter.
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