Strong iPhone 4 Sales Hurting Apple’s 2013 Outlook


These next couple weeks before Apple announces the Q1 2013 earnings are going to be crazy with rumors, speculation, and Street estimates about what is going on (or going to be going on) with the world’s largest company. Although VerizonT-Mobile, and AT&T all have released results that point to strong iPhone sales (and mostly the iPhone 5), there is a Devil in the details—the iPhone 4. Analysts are looking at the strength of iPhone 4 and 4S sales as a another sign that Apple must make a cheaper iPhone to compete.

Although we think Phil Schiller put the kibosh on a cheap iPhone, words by the WSJ hold a lot of value. So do hard sales figures:

…Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley on Friday lowered his fiscal 2013 estimates after retail checks revealed “very strong” holiday demand for the iPhone 4, which is now free on contract in the U.S. The analyst said there was still strong iPhone 5 demand in the quarter, but shorter iPhone 4 supply could be a bad sign.

“We believe demand for the iPhone 5 was very strong during the December quarter,” Walkley wrote in a research note on Friday. ”However, based on our analysis and monthly store surveys, we believe demand for the iPhone 4 remains very strong with the iPhone 4 more in short supply than the iPhone 5.” Apple is seemingly well aware of the trend, and it is already working to address demand for a less expensive iPhone, according to Walkley.
Via: BGR

If these estimates become reality on the 23rd, then speculation that Apple will release a “new” but “cheaper” iPhone will start anew.

As they should.

If consumers are opting for lesser tech at a lower price ($0-99), then that adds strength to the arguments for the imperative of a cheaper phone to expand markets.

Not that Apple always follows these things, but…

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