Originally Posted by Shaun, UK
If Apple ever fails to meet their own highly conservative estimates then they really will be in trouble. Nobody believes those estimates.
In the past some of those estimates have been smashed by things out of Apples control. For example the crash in DRAM and Flash pricing or MS shooting itself in the foot many times over. It isn't that Apple is low balling projections it is rather that things are happening faster in the market and to their advantage than anybody expected. The near death of RIM for example is a significant factor in iPhones rise, they simply could not provide a coherent response to the surprise of many in the industry. Nokia likewise has shot themselves in the foot so many times it is pathetic.
In many cases Apple has gotten better than expected results simply because the competition gave them so much of the market. As excutives Apple has no idea really as to how badly the excutive teams at the competition will screw up, they only really know about their products an initial conditions a month or so before the next quarter. Just as they may have predicted the future a bit today, it is still based mostly on what they know about in the last month and there hoped for product release.
It is neither conservative nor liberal in fact there is some guess work and a lot of experience going into these forcasts. A lot can happen in three months to make the projections look like crap. This is especially the case these days where the economic outlook is shaky at best and very dynamic.
So frankly you are full of crap when you say nobody believes those numbers. Those are the only numbers that are based on facts. The so called analyst have nothing at all that could be called fact, if they did that would most likely be illegal. All they can do is to try to survey the market and apmake projections based on that. Apple on the other hand has real data that can provide trends used for projections, it also has real knowledge of new hardware. All of these things add up to a composite that provides for real guidance. Mind you guidance for three months of activity that hasn't happened yet.
Now look at this from the standpoint of the analysts. They get to make their predictions days before Apple releases it's numbers. If they had been doing their homework, that is surveying the market, they should have been able to predict with fair accuracy how well Apple did. Instead they didn't even come close. So why does anybody even bother with these silly assed folks? I mean really the dart board is just as reliable.