“After n quarters of predictability, Apple surprised with sales performance that was 3.74% above the top of their guidance,” Horace Dediu writes for Asymco. “This may not seem significant but since instituting a new range-bound guidance method in Q1 of last year the company reported revenue within about 1% of the top of the range.”

“This is in stark contrast to the wide variance in prior years,” Dediu writes. “Just when you think you spotted a pattern, it changes. The company surprised with performance outside the band.”

“So what happened? The answer seems to be better iPhone performance,” Dediu writes. “The bottom line was that the Revenue and Earnings surprise could be accounted for through a significant outperformance on iPhone which offset a less significant underperformance on the iPad.”

Much more, including the usual informative graphs, in the full article here.

[Thanks to Gomer Pyle for the headline.]