The iPhone is one of Apple’s best selling products. Despite its popularity with consumers, sales from the last quarter failed to impress Wall Street and meet analysts expectations. Apple missed the mark by about 3 million iPhones. Even though the sales numbers increased year-over-year, they fell short in comparison to the last earnings report.
According to Apple, the reason for decreased sales are partially attributed to the rumor mill. Apple’s Chief Financial Officer, Peter Oppenheimer, explained why they think the numbers have decreased during the Q3 earnings call on July 24, 2012.
“…We do think some things did impact us in the quarter, so let me comment on that. The economy in Europe is not doing well. We think this impacted our results. We also saw some economic impact in the natural resource-based economies including Australia, Brazil and Canada.
As Tim discussed, regarding the iPhone, we’re reading the same rumors and speculation that you are, about a new iPhone. And we think this has caused some pause in customers purchasing…”
Tim Cook went on to explain his feelings about rumors impacting sales:
“We try very hard to keep our product roadmaps secret and confidential, we do extreme activities to try and do that. That however, doesn’t stop people from speculating or wondering, and will never do that. That’s the great thing about this country, people can say what they think, and so forth. So, I’m not going to spend any energy trying to change that. That’s just the environment we’re in.
I’m glad that people want the next thing. I’m super happy about it. There are obviously quite a few that want what we’re currently doing as well, as witnessed by the amount of products that we’re selling. So I’m not going to put any energy into trying to get people to stop speculating. I don’t think that’s going to amount to anything.”
There’s no doubt in my mind that rumors play a significant role in decreased iPhone sales. Some people don’t want to spend money on a smartphone that will be outdated in a couple of months.
When Apple releases a refreshed product, the pricing usually stays the same as the previous model. I wouldn’t want to pay for an iPhone only to realize that I could have had a better one for the same price a few months later.