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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- On the most basic level, expectations for Apple's(AAPL - Get Report) earnings aren't wandering lost in the valley of indecision. Wall Street analysts expect about $10.35 a share on revenue of $37.2 billion for the third quarter due to be reported after the close of trading on Tuesday.
Though many of the legions of non-Wall Street Apple followers -- who have historically been more on the mark than the so-called professionals -- expect more, the collective mind-state is more negative than usual, making it easier for Apple to surpass expectations.
Reading a sample of headlines sounds like a funeral dirge. Reuters went with "Apple heads into choppy waters as new iPhone awaited," while Bloomberg shouted, "Apple Growth Seen Pausing As IPhone Buyers Await Model."
We all know that Apple is making mincemeat of the likes of
Research in Motion(RIMM),
Nokia(NOK - Get Report),
Hewlett-Packard(HPQ - Get Report). But the media is concerned that Apple consumers are waiting for the release of the new iPhone to shop. They are also fretting about the delayed release of the iPad in China, which did not attract raucous lines.
All of this could spell earnings doom. But as you can see from the headlines, it's probably already factored into the price of the stock.
Moreover, iPad sales, even without China, could compensate for iPhone customers holding off. The lack of lines, too, should not be a defining concern. Apple's online reservation system, as Eric Jackson rightly pointed out on Bloomberg TV, means "there weren't riots" for the iPad 2, iPad 3 and iPhone 4S, but the products nevertheless sold well.
Expectations for Apple are rarely high enough, but this go round they do seem additionally dour.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.