March 19, 2014
Apple’s second quarter doesn’t end for another two weeks. Nonetheless, there are already conflicting forecasts among analysts on whether the quarter has been a successful one for the iPhone maker, according to Business Insider. Earlier this month, Brian Blair at Wedge Partners said that Apple was having a terrible quarter, due to soft demand for the iPhone 5c, and a continued slowdown in the high-end smartphone market. Not so fast, says Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty, who says iPhone sales this quarter are actually stronger than expected. Apple will announce iPhone shipments totaling 42 million between January and March, according to the analyst. This number is based on data from Morgan Stanley’s Alphawise tracker, which uses Web search data to determine an estimate. As the report notes, "It sounds unreliable, but the results have been pretty good. For instance, last quarter it predicted 50.5 million iPhones shipped. And Apple announced 51 million." Huberty says supply chain data suggests Apple will announce iPhone sales of 38 million units. If this is correct, Cupertino will have had a flat quarter. In the March 2013 quarter, Apple announced iPhone sales of 37.4 million units. Which estimate is more accurate? In the second quarter, probably the Alphawise tracker data. As Business Insider concludes:
Huberty says that the supply chain may work in overdrive during the holiday quarter to generate extra product, and then ease back in the March quarter, thus giving an unreliable read out on sales. She also says that U.S. carriers have changed their policies a bunch this quarter, and that could generate consumer demand. Big retailers like Best Buy and Walmart are running sales on the iPhone 5S and 5C which could also produce more sales than expected.Last month, Apple announced record iPhone sales of 51 million units, compared to 47.8 million units the year before. They are likely to announce their second quarter 2014 results before the end of April. See also: Apple Changes Its iPhone Return Policy To Reflect Those Of Carrier Partners, The iPhone 5s Remains A Popular Choice For Would Be Smartphone Buyers, and A New Survey Shows iPhone Owners Are Luckier Than Other Smartphone Owners.