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Most AT&T stores expecting less than 40 iPhones at launch

post #1 of 34
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WR Hambrecht & Co. on Wednesday raised its price target on shares of Apple Inc, citing falling component prices during the current quarter and pent-up demand for iPhone leading into next month's launch.

The firm surveyed a number of Cingular/AT&T stores to get a feel for potential retail demand as well as expected availability and found that most locations are still in the dark as to when they will receive initial shipments of the inaugural Apple handset.

"[Our] results indicate that the stores do not have reliable color on the timing of when they will have the phone; most stores expect the phone on June 15th or June 22nd, and most expect to only have a few (highest number was 40 at one store) on hand initially," analyst Matthew Kather wrote in a report.

The analyst added that overall pent-up retail demand appears very strong, with about 15-20 percent of the stores that were contacted saying they are keeping a waiting list for customers interested in purchasing the device.

Shares of Apple may begin to see increased activity a couple of weeks ahead of the iPhone launch, according to Kather, who notes the company's Worldwide Developers Conference is set to tip-off during the week of June 11th.

"We expect Apple to unveil an update to its Mac franchise, specifically on the professional lines, which could include new features like instant boot given the new technology from Intel's Centrino platform," he wrote. "The could be a number of other software related announcements too around the Mac platform, and possibly the iPhone/Apple TV."

Kather, who maintains a Buy rating on shares of the Cupertino-based Apple, raised his target to $125 per share from $115 per share, while also increasing his estimates for the company's June quarter on sliding component prices.

Specifically, the analyst cited "falling to stable" component prices on a sequential basis for DRAM and NAND flash, which should drive gross margins to 33.5 percent, up from his previous estimate of 32.5 percent and Apple's guidance of 32 percent.

"Component prices will not be as big of a tailwind as in the [first calendar quarter of the year], in our opinion, but with DRAM on track to decline about 40 - 50 percent and NAND prices mostly slightly up to flat quarter-over-quarter, it should still flow through to very strong gross margins for the June quarter," he explained. "Additionally, we believe the upcoming iPhone launch will be a catalyst for modest multiple expansion in the stock price due to the planned deferred revenue recognition of iPhone sales."
post #2 of 34
Sheesh..... I am now REALLY getting bummed about the AAPL calls I had sold at $120 (not so much because of this analyst, as much as watching the ticker getting steadily close to the exercise price these past few weeks).
post #3 of 34
Well, I bought in long at $113. I have been watching it for the past two years. What was I thinking?
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post #4 of 34
A survey of stores who have no clue, to see what each one "expects"?

If they really knew, they'd know not to say. I don't think that number is reliable info. The stores admit they don't know the date... yet they guess a date all the same. They're guessing on quantities too I'm sure.

Anyway, say it's half that, 20 phones, times 2000 stores, that's 40 thousand to start with (plus online sales from AT&T and Apple) and more on the way.
post #5 of 34
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post #6 of 34
Hmmm, 40 phones per store wont do They'll be gone by 9 AM. I wonder how many will be in the Apple Stores?
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

A survey of stores who have no clue, to see what each one "expects"?

If they really knew, they'd know not to say. I don't think that number is reliable info. The stores admit they don't know the date... yet they guess a date all the same. They're guessing on quantities too I'm sure.

Anyway, say it's half that, 20 phones, times 2000 stores, that's 40 thousand to start with (plus online sales from AT&T and Apple) and more on the way.

That's not much.

I wonder how many Apple will be reserving for its stores and website?
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by petermac View Post

Hmmm, 40 phones per store wont do They'll be gone by 9 AM. I wonder how many will be in the Apple Stores?

I wonder if the podunk, backwoods AT&T store here in Hanover, Pa., will get ANY. Seriously. Which stores, AT&T, WHICH STORES?? I don't want to be wasting my time waiting in line at the store that won't have any phones when I can be driving to Towson, Md., to the nearest Apple Store.

Blargh
post #9 of 34
I would bet my three-cornered-hat on the Apple stores having 10x+ the quantity of the AT&T stores... it wouldn't be the first time Apple screwed a retail partner to benifit themselves...
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post #10 of 34
can you say PS3 all over again? people getting shot for iphone!
campouts at at&t and apple... had to know this was coming.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by petermac View Post

Hmmm, 40 phones per store wont do They'll be gone by 9 AM.

Then I guess Apple will have to ship some more after 9 AM...

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post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Restalot View Post

I would bet my three-cornered-hat on the Apple stores having 10x+ the quantity of the AT&T stores... it wouldn't be the first time Apple screwed a retail partner to benifit themselves...

that's a given...

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post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoami View Post

can you say PS3 all over again? people getting shot for iphone!
campouts at at&t and apple... had to know this was coming.

can't campout at my apple store inside a mall that closes at 10 pm and everyone is cleared out by security, though not sure about the attached parking garage???

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post #14 of 34
you guy shave to be kidding me. 40 phones? and you think they will sell out? people need to sign 2 year agreements to cingular, if you already have a contract with verizon or anyone else, you aren't going to end that contract with them and pay that 200 bucks on top of the 500 for the phone. This launch will not be like a game system. buying a ps3 didn't mean you couldn't buy an xbox, and you didn't have to have your ps2 for 2 years before you bought a ps3.

this is a different product, different market, and for every person that goes in with 600 in hand ready to buy the phone and sign up for two more years of cingular, there will be 200 people who walk in wanting the iphone until they see that they can get faster speed and an actual keyboard for 200 bucks.

This phone will not be the product a lot of people think it will. I would like to buy it, but I'm not camping out for it, I'll wait for reviews, handle it in store and make an intelligent decision on whether it's worth 500 bucks, not blindly go in a store and plop down 500 of my hard earned dollars just because it has an apple logo on it.
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadisawesome View Post

you guy shave to be kidding me. 40 phones? and you think they will sell out? people need to sign 2 year agreements to cingular, if you already have a contract with verizon or anyone else, you aren't going to end that contract with them and pay that 200 bucks on top of the 500 for the phone. This launch will not be like a game system. buying a ps3 didn't mean you couldn't buy an xbox, and you didn't have to have your ps2 for 2 years before you bought a ps3.

this is a different product, different market, and for every person that goes in with 600 in hand ready to buy the phone and sign up for two more years of cingular, there will be 200 people who walk in wanting the iphone until they see that they can get faster speed and an actual keyboard for 200 bucks.

This phone will not be the product a lot of people think it will. I would like to buy it, but I'm not camping out for it, I'll wait for reviews, handle it in store and make an intelligent decision on whether it's worth 500 bucks, not blindly go in a store and plop down 500 of my hard earned dollars just because it has an apple logo on it.

Yup! 40 phones will sell out real quickly.

Even if you were right, they would sell out quickly. 40 phones is nothing for a product like this. If the number was 500 per store, then I would agree that it would take a bit of time, but not 40.
post #16 of 34
"with about 15-20 percent of the stores that were contacted saying they are keeping a waiting list for customers interested in purchasing the device."

...so much for apple demanding that reservations will not be allowed.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoami View Post

can you say PS3 all over again? people getting shot for iphone!
campouts at at&t and apple... had to know this was coming.

Don't underestimate the Cabbage Patch effect. The news coverage the entire day will be about the enormous demand of the iPhone, lines out the door, stores running out in the first hour, etc.

It's like the Zune launch all over again!!
post #18 of 34
if an average cellphone sale takes 30 minutes and the average cell phone store is open 12 hours, and with 2 sales people making constant sales all day, that's only 48 phones TOTAL in a day.

taking into consideration that 90% of those phones are freebies, and 10% or less are smartphones, you are talking about MAYBE 5 smartphones around 200 - 300 bucks selling per day per store, and I believe that to be a high estimate.

Now you are looking at a device that is double the normal smartphone price... the customer gets no money off, no mail in rebates, no pat on the back, nothing for purchasing and singing this 2 year agreement, and you think that 40 will sell by 9am?

This isn't something you walk in, say I want, pay and leave. they need to look up your account, see if you are eligible for an upgrade, have you sign paperwork.. make sure you have the sim card that is better suited for data, try to sell you on upgrades to your account, make you think you need that more expensive data plan... try to sell you the bluetooth headset, and overpriced carcharger and leather case. And don't even get me started if you are a new account switiching from another provider and you want to keep your number. Unless they have 40 sales people on hand (one per phone), this phone will take a long time to sell out.
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

"with about 15-20 percent of the stores that were contacted saying they are keeping a waiting list for customers interested in purchasing the device."

...so much for apple demanding that reservations will not be allowed.

The waiting list is probably different, from what I've read, it just puts you on a list of people to call when it comes in, but the phones are still first-come-first-served, you don't get one that's set aside just for you.

A reservation is basically a down payment to have a phone that's set aside for you to come in when you can and it will still be there for you.
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadisawesome View Post

Now you are looking at a device that is double the normal smartphone price... the customer gets no money off, no mail in rebates, no pat on the back, nothing for purchasing and singing this 2 year agreement, and you think that 40 will sell by 9am?

Not true. The new BlackBerry devices run between $499-$599 among carriers. The out-the-door price for both longtime customers and walk-in, new customers is $2-300. Those up-front "discounts" are a lie; any meaningful voice and data plan with those is going to top $100/mo.

Chad, We don't know the details. Jim Cramer was said to have confidential information about steep discounts from ATT on service specials and contract buy-outs. We just don't know about those things right now.

I'm no. 7 on the waiting list in my little town, but I doubt most people know there's a waiting list. Honestly, how many new releases have required one nationwide?

I was told to expect a call the day they're received, but that ATT is still telling stores the shipments will be sold first-come, first-served.

Each store has a primary contact on the sales force for iPhone; no details were to be given out about ship date or rate specials. My store contact would only say that the info they're getting is being held close and that they're being told the central warehouse for Chicago area stores will receive shipments "mid-June."

There was a deep breath and a pregnant pause, however, when I said, "So, I understand those will be available on the 11th?"

But, ah, we're back to speculation again, aren't we?
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadisawesome View Post

if an average cellphone sale takes 30 minutes and the average cell phone store is open 12 hours, and with 2 sales people making constant sales all day, that's only 48 phones TOTAL in a day.

taking into consideration that 90% of those phones are freebies, and 10% or less are smartphones, you are talking about MAYBE 5 smartphones around 200 - 300 bucks selling per day per store, and I believe that to be a high estimate.

Now you are looking at a device that is double the normal smartphone price... the customer gets no money off, no mail in rebates, no pat on the back, nothing for purchasing and singing this 2 year agreement, and you think that 40 will sell by 9am?

This isn't something you walk in, say I want, pay and leave. they need to look up your account, see if you are eligible for an upgrade, have you sign paperwork.. make sure you have the sim card that is better suited for data, try to sell you on upgrades to your account, make you think you need that more expensive data plan... try to sell you the bluetooth headset, and overpriced carcharger and leather case. And don't even get me started if you are a new account switiching from another provider and you want to keep your number. Unless they have 40 sales people on hand (one per phone), this phone will take a long time to sell out.

Practical observations, chadisawesome. I suppose what I am also saying is that there will be lineups for these things for several hours, if not all day, You are right, my last handset/plan upgrade took all of 8-10 mins, but the bluetooth headset the sales clerk then foisted upon me took another 10 mins to consumate. If I was just upgrading the handset, I could have been out in 10 mins. Then again, I also had to wait 10 mins to see the sales clerk in the first place. sigh
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

The waiting list is probably different, from what I've read, it just puts you on a list of people to call when it comes in, but the phones are still first-come-first-served, you don't get one that's set aside just for you.

A reservation is basically a down payment to have a phone that's set aside for you to come in when you can and it will still be there for you.

I called my local AT&T store and got on their waiting list. I explicitly asked if being on the waiting list meant you have precedence over people not on the list, and the person I talked to said it does.

*Shrugs
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by draggerman11 View Post

I called my local AT&T store and got on their waiting list. I explicitly asked if being on the waiting list meant you have precedence over people not on the list, and the person I talked to said it does.

*Shrugs

My question is whether it reserves a unit in your name or not. My experience with reserving items before it launches is that you have to put a small down payment on it. They might be doing what you say though, as a way of weaseling out of the alleged/rumored "no presale, no preorder" mandate.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by draggerman11 View Post

I called my local AT&T store and got on their waiting list. I explicitly asked if being on the waiting list meant you have precedence over people not on the list, and the person I talked to said it does.

*Shrugs

I called mine and they said they were told NOT to take any names or create the impression that you can reserve or pre-order an iPhone. "Absolutely no lists" was the way the manager put it. I'll be annoyed if it turns out you'll be able to do it, whatever the corporate policy
post #25 of 34
My local AT&T store does not have a list.

I guess I'll have to wait in line.

But for how long???
post #26 of 34
The Studio City store is not taking reservations.
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post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadisawesome View Post

if an average cellphone sale takes 30 minutes and the average cell phone store is open 12 hours, and with 2 sales people making constant sales all day, that's only 48 phones TOTAL in a day.

Yeah, and it's such a shame they have that law only allowing two salespeople per store, right?

Also we know that Apple has been spending a lot of time and money optimizing the sales and marketing strategy in store for the iPhone, so this should be less intensive on salespeoples' time than many phones. People want to try it, the sales guy says 'go check out the kiosk over there - see you in 10'
post #28 of 34
i don't know how big you think the stores are, or how many sales terminals you think they have, but even with 20 employees, if someone forgot to shower, everyone is going to know it. I don't think anyone outside of a very small population is as excited about this device as the hype is leading up to it.

if they released the phone 4 months ago when they told everyone about it, I think it woulda sold much better.
post #29 of 34
So how long would you guys wait in line for the iPhone? Just curious. I'd pull an all nighter starting at 9 or 10 pm the night before.
post #30 of 34
My brother and I would go 3 hours before we quit. We plan on being somewhere the iPhone is the moment it comes out. Hopefully, I can kiss my BlackBerry goodbye if the coverage is there. It is hard to beat Verizon coverage.
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post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

My question is whether it reserves a unit in your name or not. My experience with reserving items before it launches is that you have to put a small down payment on it. They might be doing what you say though, as a way of weaseling out of the alleged/rumored "no presale, no preorder" mandate.

Yeah, I don't know. They took my name and phone number down, so unless they are just doing a waiting list to please impatient customers like myself, and then don't plan on honoring it, I guess people on the list get precedence. I find it hard to believe, though, that if someone walks in before someone on the list gets one that they'd tell them "sorry we're holding them for people on the list."

My question is how is the Apple store going to handle it. Are they going to be equipped to enable your new contract all in the store, or are you going to have to do that over the phone with AT&T? I'd much rather get it at the Apple store.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saiko View Post

So how long would you guys wait in line for the iPhone? Just curious. I'd pull an all nighter starting at 9 or 10 pm the night before.

I gave up waiting in overnight lines when I graduated high school.

I know it'll be a couple/few days later than the earliest adopters, but I'm going to just order it online at the Apple store.
post #33 of 34
i'm not waiting in line overnight.
when it's announced that they're available, i'll head over to the apple store for an early lunch or afternoon break. it's 10 minutes away. if they're sold out [doubt it] i'll check the att stores [2] in the same mall. if they're both sold out, i'll call the store by my house. IF they're sold out, i'll a] be suprised, b] order one online and hold onto my slvr for another couple weeks. what's another couple weeks. it's been 5 months.
post #34 of 34
I've never understood the idea of being first with these things.
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