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The Blame Game Has Begun After Weaker Than Expected iPhone Sales

The Blame Game Has Begun After Weaker Than Expected iPhone Sales

January 29, 2014
Earlier this week, Apple reported that it sold a record 51 million iPhone units during the holiday quarter. This was 4 million units short of what Wall Street was expecting. So who’s to blame? AT&T and Verizon Wireless, according to CNET. Tavis McCourt from Raymond James calculates that 80 percent of Apple’s iPhone shortfall could be attributed to smartphone sale declines at the largest two carriers in the United States. In a research note, McCourt says:
We believe Apple likely held or took share at both carriers as has been the trend through the year. If so, Apple likely sold about 12 million iPhones versus 15 million iPhones from a year ago.
Based on his projections, McCourt believes that the two carriers likely accounted for 4 million of his estimated 5 million shortfall in iPhone sales. AT&T recently announced a 22.5 percent decline in smartphone sales from a year ago. Last week, Verizon reported a 10 percent decline in smartphone sales over the same time period. Beginning in 2013, AT&T and Verizon no longer break out iPhone sales. Reasons attributed for the decline include early iPhone 5s supply issues, a stricter stance from both carriers in allowing phone upgrades, and slowing growth in new customers. On Monday, Apple announced it had netted revenue of $57.6 billion and a profit of $13.1 billion for the holiday quarter. Besides selling a record 51 million iPhones, the company also posted an all-time quarterly record for iPad sales with 26 million sold. Mac sales also increased to 4.8 million units. Wall Street remains unimpressed. Apple's shares are down nearly 8 percent since trading began on Tuesday, Jan. 28. See also: Worldwide Smartphone Sales Are Expected To Drop During The First Quarter Of 2014, and Analysts Offer Predictions On The Significance Of Apple's China Mobile iPhone Deal.

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