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Apple may have sold upwards of 60 million iPhones over holiday quarter

post #1 of 115
Thread Starter 
With Apple set to report first quarter financial results next week, many Cupertino-watching analysts are predicting the company to have sold a record number of iPhones during the 3-month period that ended late December.

iPhone Unit Sales
Source: Fortune


Each of the 44 analysts whose predictions have been collated by Fortune's Philip Elmer-Dewitt foresee sales of at least 50 million handsets, with a consensus of 55.3 million units that would represent a 16 percent increase in sales from the year-ago quarter. The panel consists of 27 professional and 17 independent analysts.

Merill Lynch's Scott Craig is the most bullish of the professional group with an estimate of 58.5 million units, while Pacific Crest's Andy Hargreaves brings up the rear with 50.93 million.

Most well-known names skew toward the upper end of the range. Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore predicts sales of 58 million handsets, Evercore's Robert Cihra sees 57 million, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster comes in at 55.5 million, and Cowen & Company's Timothy Arcuri has Apple penciled in at 55 million.

The list is bookended by independent analysts with a connection to the Braeburn Group, a loose affiliation of amateur Apple watchers led by Faizal Kara's 59.73 million unit projection. Ilari Scheinin presents the bear case with an even 50 million units.

While the first quarter does not include sales from the long-awaited China Mobile partnership, it does include those from another new Asian carrier partner, Japan's NTT DoCoMo. Apple will reveal their final numbers on Jan. 27.
post #2 of 115
Not one analyst seem to say 60 million iPhones. Where does the number in the headline come from?
post #3 of 115

We will have a better idea after Verizon numbers tomorrow. Until then, its very speculative.

post #4 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by strask View Post

Not one analyst seem to say 60 million iPhones. Where does the number in the headline come from?


"Upwards" of 60 million iPhones.

post #5 of 115

Yay, the stock is going to PLUMMET!! :rolleyes:

post #6 of 115
"upwards of 60" means close to 60. Literary license. :-)

Of course, if Apple doesn't reach these guesses, AAPL will drop but it will end up dropping for no reason anyway. Someone will find something they don't like and punish AAPL.
post #7 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by strask View Post

Not one analyst seem to say 60 million iPhones. Where does the number in the headline come from?

I noticed that, too. It really should be approaching.

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post #8 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

We will have a better idea after Verizon numbers tomorrow. Until then, its very speculative.
Not so sure about that. When Apple reported that blowout quarter in Jan 2012 I remember the clowns on CNBC being shocked at how good it was, because they had been using AT&T and Verizon as a gauge. Don't think that works anymore with so much of Apple's sales coming from overseas.
post #9 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

"upwards of 60" means close to 60. Literary license. :-)

Of course, if Apple doesn't reach these guesses, AAPL will drop but it will end up dropping for no reason anyway. Someone will find something they don't like and punish AAPL.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Napoleon_PhoneApart View Post


"Upwards" of 60 million iPhones.

It means the higher level is more than the value stated. It does not mean close to that value but never reaching it.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #10 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

"upwards of 60" means close to 60. Literary license. :-)

Of course, if Apple doesn't reach these guesses, AAPL will drop but it will end up dropping for no reason anyway. Someone will find something they don't like and punish AAPL.
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post #11 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

We will have a better idea after Verizon numbers tomorrow. Until then, its very speculative.

It's speculative until we get Apple's numbers.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #12 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strask View Post

Not one analyst seem to say 60 million iPhones. Where does the number in the headline come from?

I noticed that, too. It really should be approaching.

The average (not ‘consensus’, as AI’s writers call it) is 55.3M. AI just liberally rounded it up to 60M.

 

I guess, using an equivalent argument, it now makes sense to round up the 60 to….. 100M phones! Why not.

post #13 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I noticed that, too. It really should be approaching.

Or in the original sentence something like:

Apple may have sold as many as 60 million iPhones...

"upwards of" implies in excess of 60 million but the highest analyst estimate is 59.7m. The headline could be the author's opinion though. His guess as good as any analyst's.

I'm going for 100 million and will proclaim disappointment if it fails to reach this.
post #14 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

The average (not ‘consensus’, as AI’s writers call it) is 55.3M. AI just liberally rounded it up to 60M.

I guess, using an equivalent argument, it now makes sense to round up the 60 to….. 100M phones! Why not.

We don't have to use averages for this term. One analyst states 59.73MM, but I don't think you can accurately use that term after using the hundredth value and not reaching 60MM.


edit: As Marvin notes, If the author wants to state they think they may have sold 60MM or even mention some margin or error that could place it at least as high as 60MM then it would make the title match the article, but this is such a minor consideration.
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/20/14 at 8:22am

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #15 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Not so sure about that. When Apple reported that blowout quarter in Jan 2012 I remember the clowns on CNBC being shocked at how good it was, because they had been using AT&T and Verizon as a gauge. Don't think that works anymore with so much of Apple's sales coming from overseas.

 

Last year I was pretty spot on on the number using VZ number and market share estimates. CNBC have a lot of guess and some of there staff are very bias, so you need to know which ones are more fair because they will always have anti-Apple talks no matter what.

 

I am hoping we get 60+ or we will have yet another year of growth decelaration in unit sales. On the other hand, YoY margins should be better. Market share improvements in the US points to a big number but I still need to see a sale sample (VZ) to make up my mind.


Edited by herbapou - 1/20/14 at 8:28am
post #16 of 115
Where are the damned comments!
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post #17 of 115
Well obviously people are stockpiling iPhones because now that Google owns military robots, it's only a matter of time before Cupertino is raised to the ground by robotic dogs outfitted with rocket launchers. Mind you, the dogs will still be running on Gingerbread, and I'm not sure the new rocket launcher framework is fully compatible with Gingerbread. The dogs might do what all Gingerbread products do, and turn on their masters.
post #18 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by strask View Post

Not one analyst seem to say 60 million iPhones. Where does the number in the headline come from?

I said that number a few threads ago. I have slightly better records over the top-rated analysts and I'm also better looking.

 

It seems logical to me that my numbers were used for every single worth-reading prediction.

post #19 of 115
The analyst numbers are bunk and all, but it seems like 60MM units still isn't much in the way of growth. I would have thought 65MM would be a more reasonable expectation, but it doesn't look like that is in the realm of possibilities at this point.

My logic, which is completely unscientific: ~37MM units in 2012FQ1 out of contract + Blackberry's collapse + increasing smart phone penetration.

Really though, I think the iPad numbers will be more important for the stock. 30MM would be huge, and I imagine there could be a nice ASP bump.
post #20 of 115

Whatever it is, it will be fantastic, and will disappoint "analysts"

post #21 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdknox View Post

Yay, the stock is going to PLUMMET!! 1rolleyes.gif

If this is true, and I suspect it might be ... not to mention iPad sales ... I am sure Wall Street will find a way to justify negative connotations to the news.
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post #22 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

The analyst numbers are bunk and all, but it seems like 60MM units still isn't much in the way of growth. I would have thought 65MM would be a more reasonable expectation, but it doesn't look like that is in the realm of possibilities at this point.

My logic, which is completely unscientific: ~37MM units in 2012FQ1 out of contract + Blackberry's collapse + increasing smart phone penetration.

Really though, I think the iPad numbers will be more important for the stock. 30MM would be huge, and I imagine there could be a nice ASP bump.

Based on the graph in the article it would indicate the growth is slowing but it's still a hefty gain in units YoY from 2012's 48MM. It certainly looks better than the plateauing we've seen in Asymco graphs for Android-based phones.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #23 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

The analyst numbers are bunk and all, but it seems like 60MM units still isn't much in the way of growth. I would have thought 65MM would be a more reasonable expectation, but it doesn't look like that is in the realm of possibilities at this point.

My logic, which is completely unscientific: ~37MM units in 2012FQ1 out of contract + Blackberry's collapse + increasing smart phone penetration.

Really though, I think the iPad numbers will be more important for the stock. 30MM would be huge, and I imagine there could be a nice ASP bump.

 

Less than 60m is growth decelaration indeed.

 

My first metric is market share change:

https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/apple-and-samsung-grow-to-represent-68-percent-of-smartphones-owned-in%20the-u-s-according-to-the-npd-group/

 

My second metric will be a US sales sample, so VZ numbers tomorrow.

 

The third metric is internationnal sales.

More launch countries meens better than last year, assuming the phone did better in the US.

post #24 of 115

If this deems true....Not Kicking Ass, my ass. Go Apple!

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post #25 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

"upwards of 60" means close to 60. Literary license. :-)

Of course, if Apple doesn't reach these guesses, AAPL will drop but it will end up dropping for no reason anyway. Someone will find something they don't like and punish AAPL.

 

We really need to stop this MEME.  All stocks go up and down during the year for what seems like no reason.

 

The reason Apple stock dropped last year was because earnings growth went flat or NEGATIVE the last 4 Qtrs.

Q1'13 - flat

Q2'13 - minus 18%

Q3'13 - minus 20%

Q4'13 - minus 5%

 

Those are YoY net income numbers.  Bottom line is Apple has become a show me stock.  They need to show EARNINGS GROWTH in order for it to reach $600 again.

 

IMO the stock market has been short-sighted but I can understand why its been in the $520-$570 range the last few months even with good news like ChinaMobile.

post #26 of 115
I think all of the analysts are too conservative this time. My prediction is for between 63 and 70 million iPhones. Total of more than 100 million iOS devices.
post #27 of 115
Regardless of what the number is its doubtful that it will move the stock significantly. Unfortunately the only thing that will bring the stock up is a new product launch
post #28 of 115
If it is 59 million, " Wall Street Analysts" will say they sold TOO much and the Jan-Mar period will be have to be down... Let's keep looking at all Apple News as the glass half full!
post #29 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

The reason Apple stock dropped last year was because earnings growth went flat or NEGATIVE the last 4 Qtrs.
Q1'13 - flat
Q2'13 - minus 18%
Q3'13 - minus 20%
Q4'13 - minus 5%

So you're saying Apple's YoY net earnings show Apple earnings in 2013 were less then they earned in their respective 2012 quarters?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #30 of 115
@Rob53
""upwards of 60" means close to 60. Literary license. :-)"

That is not correct. "Upwards of" means more than or in excess of. Check it out:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upwards%20of

The headline should read "Upwards of 50 million."
post #31 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrbigrobot View Post

If it is 59 million, " Wall Street Analysts" will say they sold TOO much and the Jan-Mar period will be have to be down... Let's keep looking at all Apple News as the glass half full!

 

That would be "almost" exactly my thinking... but rather than, "sold TOO much", I'd say, the 2nd fiscal quarter forecast will "look TOO small" in comparison.

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post #32 of 115

Apple sold 700,000,000,000,000 iPhones last quarter. If you hear anything else from them, sell to $50 per share.

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post #33 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by strask View Post
Not one analyst seem to say 60 million iPhones. Where does the number in the headline come from?

 

Rounding up to one significant figure from 57 (or 58) million is quite sensible, and is what AI did in the title, reducing the precision to about 17%.  Now if they'd said "upwards of 60.73 million", then I'd definitely cry foul.  Such precision in a prediction would be absurd in the absence of figures from a company as secretive as Apple.  And lets not forget, the headline also says "may have sold", which means they may not have sold that many.

 

Quote:
Faizal Kara's 59.73 million unit projection

....is just that--absurd.  As if any analyst can make guesses with 0.02% precision and have any chance of being correct.  What it really means is that this analyst has no grasp of statistics, and therefore should not be given any credibility.

Quote:
Andy Hargreaves brings up the rear with 50.93 million.

Ditto. Statistical incompetence.

 

Quote:
Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore predicts sales of 58 million handsets, Evercore's Robert Cihra sees 57 million

These two figures are more sensible predictions, having a precision of around 2%.  We shall see next week if even that degree of precision is warranted, when we find out the truth.  If Apple reports sales within 2% of those predictions, then these two analysts win a gold star.

post #34 of 115
I'm thinking close to 55MM iPhones sold. Analysts will probably increase their estimates just to say Apple once again missed their wild guesses.
post #35 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post
 

 

Rounding up to one significant figure from 57 (or 58) million is quite sensible, and is what AI did in the title, reducing the precision to about 17%.  Now if they'd said "upwards of 60.73 million", then I'd definitely cry foul.  Such precision in a prediction would be absurd in the absence of figures from a company as secretive as Apple.  And lets not forget, the headline also says "may have sold", which means they may not have sold that many.

 

No, it is not sensible, not if the headline uses the phrase "upwards of." Upwards of means more than. If they had said "almost" then the number would have been sensible. But for an article that states that analysts' predictions range from 50-58 million, the headline "upwards of 60 million" is not reasonable.  

post #36 of 115
Shouldn't it be 4th Quarter not 1st Quarter?
post #37 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpenzone View Post

Shouldn't it be 4th Quarter not 1st Quarter?

No. Apple's fiscal year starts in Oct.
post #38 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpenzone View Post

Shouldn't it be 4th Quarter not 1st Quarter?

It depends if the calendar or fiscal quarter is being referred. Apple starts their fiscal year a quarter before the calendar year which means the year starts off with a bang from the holiday sales. This isn't universally done but very common among corporations.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #39 of 115
So easy to manipulate AAPL, overestimate sales, short the stock, make money when price falls due to failure to meet unrealistic expectations. This happens over and over.
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post #40 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



It means the higher level is more than the value stated. It does not mean close to that value but never reaching it.

Indeed. Otherwise, we might as well say upwards of 65M.

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