Holiday iPhone sales projected to reach 46.5M as pundits 'underestimate' Apple

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Tech pundits who find the iPhone 5 "boring" are not expected to be in agreement with consumers, who are expected to buy a record 46.5 million iPhones this holiday shopping season.

Analyst Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee raised his December quarter forecast for iPhone sales by 500,000 units in a note to investors on Monday. He believes Apple could sell even more than 46.5 million units, but he has heard from sources in Apple's supply chain that company may face production constraints of the iPhone 5 due to its use of new in-cell touch panels.

Wu expects record shattering iPhone 5 sales as he views the product as a "significant update" that "will drive a powerful product cycle." That's in contrast to some in the press who have panned the iPhone 5 as "disappointing" and a "minor" update.

In Wu's view, those who do not think Apple's latest handset will be a success "underestimate" the iPhone 5. He thinks the device will place a great deal of pressure on competitors, and will help Apple capture customers who may have otherwise purchased an Android or Windows phone with a larger screen or 4G LTE connectivity.

With iPhone sales forecast to reach 46.5 million in the December quarter, Apple is expected to set a new record for iPhone sales in the holiday shopping season. The company's previous best quarter came at the end of 2011, when Apple sold a record 37 million iPhones.

>iPhone 5


As for the current quarter, which concludes at the end of the month, Wu believes Apple will sell a total of 27 million iPhones. Sales will be helped by the iPhone 5, which debuts in 9 countries this Friday, and 22 more the following week, before the quarter ends on Sept. 29.

Apple announced on Monday that the iPhone 5 has had the strongest start of any of the company's products to date. A total of 2 million preorders were placed in the first 24 hours, and Apple has sold out of launch day availability.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47


    No doubt they could sell 46.5 million. Will they be able to MAKE 46.5 million in that time?

  • Reply 2 of 47
    No doubt they could sell 46.5 million. Will they be able to MAKE 46.5 million in that time?

    I'd think by now we should be able to get a fairly accurate equation to figure out sales based on historical data. If they really did double their first 24 hour pre-orders does that equate to doubling their quarterly sales?

    Any math people want to take a swing at it?
  • Reply 3 of 47
    A minor update? The pundits must be looking at the iPhone 5 with their brains shut down. Hardware wise, the iPhone 5 is a significant upgrade: A6, new Qualcomm chips (LTE), new touchscreen technology, new size, new manufacturing process, new camera, possibly significant speed enhancement, new suppliers.

    Then there's the significant changes going from ios 5 to iOS 6. Many features will be backward compatible, of course, but still significant.

    The changes made for the iPhone 5 will allow for future developments in the iPhone line, and one should expect to see these changes coming to the iPad, and iPad mini, if rumors are to be believed.

    In all, the iPhone 5 updates are significant by any reasonable measure.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    Last year in the holiday quarter, Apple sold 37MM. The 46.5% is only 26% above last year. That % increase is ridiculously low

    These analysts by and large have their heads up their ass. Their price targets will continue to be behind and be chasing the stock.

  • Reply 5 of 47
    The analysts pretty much get it wrong every time. Lets see. The iPod will never sell for the premium price over other MP3s. The iPhone will never make it in an established phone market of Nokia and Motorola phones. The iPad is just a big iPhone and it will never sell because it doesn't have a full OS like PC tablets. The iMac looks like a toy and doesn't ahve a floppy so it won't change the world of computers forever. The Macbook Air is too expensive and has no optical drive. Then look at every revision of each product and the analysts always say there are minor revisions and these things are boring and they won't sell.
    I can't think of a single time when the early tech analysts have been right about a single apple product.
    Except when they said the Cube wouldn't sell. It was actually really cool and revolutionary but there was not a big market for it.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    A minor update? The pundits must be looking at the iPhone 5 with their brains shut down. Hardware wise, the iPhone 5 is a significant upgrade: A6, new Qualcomm chips (LTE), new touchscreen technology, new size, new manufacturing process, new camera, possibly significant speed enhancement, new suppliers.
    Then there's the significant changes going from ios 5 to iOS 6. Many features will be backward compatible, of course, but still significant.
    The changes made for the iPhone 5 will allow for future developments in the iPhone line, and one should expect to see these changes coming to the iPad, and iPad mini, if rumors are to be believed.
    In all, the iPhone 5 updates are significant by any reasonable measure.

    I think they don't look at the new feature list. Phone aesthetics from any brand aren't changing much lately. Apple doesn't change their computer designs half as often and that hasn't been a problem.

    Whether or not pundits like it doesn't matter, they can try to guide or divine public opinion but they aren't the final say. What really matters is whether the buyers and stock holders think it's a worthy update.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    46.5M over 13 weeks = 3.5Million a week (500K a day 21,000 an hour).

    I think the only thing that would impact this is the iPad mini in the <400 range, as that would muddy the purchase dollars ("Do I buy a new phone, or use the old phone and buy an iPad Mini?"). Assuming it will have a lower Profit (per unit, the gross margin% may be the same), that would lower the earnings for the quarter. But for apple, it's a problem I think they would love to have (my intuition is those that buy and iPad are likely 'upgraders'(got an iPhone, waiting for a smaller iPad)... those that buy a iPhone are likely 'switchers')
  • Reply 8 of 47
    pokepoke Posts: 506member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post


    No doubt they could sell 46.5 million. Will they be able to MAKE 46.5 million in that time?



     


    Their manufacturing costs have almost doubled in the run up to the iPhone 5 and that has been historically linked to the number of iPhones they sell. So, if anything, 46.5 million is conservative.

  • Reply 9 of 47
    I just wish someone would go back to all these analysis who keep making the doom and gloom predictions and ask them why they are continual wrong and why should anyone listen to them. May a example of these people and make the justify their failure to understand.

    I get that some people may have miss the bigger picture which happen with the whole itune/ipod/iphone ecosystem first took hold, but today, they fail to factor the entire ecosystem and ease of use into the over all picture. Yes their are plenty of products on the market when you go down their check list have more features or maybe a few newer technologies but consumer finally realize long feature lists does not mean a better product.
  • Reply 10 of 47


    The iPhone 5 is amazing. Problem is:


     


    1. There are too many tech writers/sites trying to grab headlines and most of them are full of &*^%


    2. We are generally spoiled in our expectations despite technology moving at an ever increasing rate, it's still not fast enough.


    3. We want to be wowed, but we peek under the wrapper before Christmas.  The pre-release product leaks for Apple products generates a lot of interest, and b/c of this there is a lot of incentive for sites to find and report them to generate site hits.  The amazing thing is they've really gotten good at hitting the mark.

  • Reply 11 of 47
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,456member
    A minor update? The pundits must be looking at the iPhone 5 with their brains shut down. Hardware wise, the iPhone 5 is a significant upgrade: A6, new Qualcomm chips (LTE), new touchscreen technology, new size, new manufacturing process, new camera, possibly significant speed enhancement, new suppliers.
    Then there's the significant changes going from ios 5 to iOS 6. Many features will be backward compatible, of course, but still significant.
    The changes made for the iPhone 5 will allow for future developments in the iPhone line, and one should expect to see these changes coming to the iPad, and iPad mini, if rumors are to be believed.
    In all, the iPhone 5 updates are significant by any reasonable measure.

    Tech pundits have always had a negative view of Apple simply because Apple does not play by their rules. Why do think they keep using words like "loyal fan base", "cult like", "religion" , etc. This seems to be the talking point these days, that Apple is a marketing company, not a tech company. When all you care about is technical specifications it's very hard to accept the design and usability factor. So you have to invent a denengrating reason for the success of something you don't understand. Tech punditry keeps hammering away even though they continually wind up with egg on their faces. They simply don't care that they don't get it.
  • Reply 12 of 47

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post



    46.5M over 13 weeks = 3.5Million a week (500K a day 21,000 an hour).

    I think the only thing that would impact this is the iPad mini in the <400 range, as that would muddy the purchase dollars ("Do I buy a new phone, or use the old phone and buy an iPad Mini?"). Assuming it will have a lower Profit (per unit, the gross margin% may be the same), that would lower the earnings for the quarter. But for apple, it's a problem I think they would love to have (my intuition is those that buy and iPad are likely 'upgraders'(got an iPhone, waiting for a smaller iPad)... those that buy a iPhone are likely 'switchers')


    I don't see how a 7" iPad mini priced at $300-500 could possibly have the same margins as a 4" iPhone priced at $599-799.  The iPad would only have more of everything - screen real estate, battery, similar processor you assume... so I don't see how production costs of the iPhone 5 estimated at $260 can go down by 40% for a larger more novel device.

  • Reply 13 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,380member
    A minor update? The pundits must be looking at the iPhone 5 with their brains shut down. Hardware wise, the iPhone 5 is a significant upgrade: A6, new Qualcomm chips (LTE), new touchscreen technology, new size, new manufacturing process, new camera, possibly significant speed enhancement, new suppliers.
    Then there's the significant changes going from ios 5 to iOS 6. Many features will be backward compatible, of course, but still significant.
    The changes made for the iPhone 5 will allow for future developments in the iPhone line, and one should expect to see these changes coming to the iPad, and iPad mini, if rumors are to be believed.
    In all, the iPhone 5 updates are significant by any reasonable measure.

    Of course they are. It's the same old tripe these folks trot out every time there is a new phone from Apple. Copy and paste crap.
  • Reply 14 of 47

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bill42 View Post



    The analysts pretty much get it wrong every time. Lets see. The iPod will never sell for the premium price over other MP3s. The iPhone will never make it in an established phone market of Nokia and Motorola phones. The iPad is just a big iPhone and it will never sell because it doesn't have a full OS like PC tablets. The iMac looks like a toy and doesn't ahve a floppy so it won't change the world of computers forever. The Macbook Air is too expensive and has no optical drive. Then look at every revision of each product and the analysts always say there are minor revisions and these things are boring and they won't sell.

    I can't think of a single time when the early tech analysts have been right about a single apple product.

    Except when they said the Cube wouldn't sell. It was actually really cool and revolutionary but there was not a big market for it.


    Note there's a difference between "analysts" (as in, Wall Street) and "pundits" (as in, gizmodo). The analysts actually do a much better job than the pundits (which really tells you something about how bad the pundits do!) 

  • Reply 15 of 47
    jumejume Posts: 206member
    iPhone 5 almost looks like it could be a fine collectible, I want one badly!
  • Reply 16 of 47


    I think part of the issue here is a disconnect between the interests of smartphone buyers and the interests of pundits. The pundits just want an entertaining show and something to write about (that people will read). If Apple just comes out with yet another iPhone that consumers love, that's not exciting -- who is going to read a story about the sun rising in the morning? How are they going to get people to read their pontifications? Solution: invent controversy by trashing Apple. Then cover the controversy. Then run a story "wow, look, despite all it had going against it, the iPhone did great!". 


     


    Consumers, on the other hand, just want a good product. 

  • Reply 17 of 47
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member


    I'm not sure about the 'great deal of pressure'. It seems as if customers are accustomed to having different brands of smartphone and there are big names that sell well. People who love their Android devices may find little reasons to switch to iOS, especially now that Android is becoming slicker. I don't think that the current market will see huge movements of adoption, in either direction. iOS may have the quality, but they have the quantity.

  • Reply 18 of 47
    Though I haven't received my new iPhone 5, I trust it will be fast, reliable, and versatile. In other words, it will be just like the 3G and 4 models I owned previously. As far as "boring" is concerned, there are also many favorable opinions regarding the new device. If you're reading this, you have probably already seen them.

    I am a late-comer to the Apple ecosystem (2009), so I'm not sure if I qualify as a "fanboy" nor do I care. But as a techie, I am very pleased that, with Apple, "simplicity IS the ultimate sophistication." Among many other things, I am also confident that customer service and OS/iOS updates will remain both responsible and timely.

    iPhone 5 sales probably will be incredible during the next 3 1/2 months (they usually are after a new and "boring" release of the iPhone). Record revenues, stock prices, and market capitalization will occur and thus validate the direction of Apple's decision-makers. Approving shareholders will smile and disapproving pundits will be amazed.
  • Reply 19 of 47


    I think the biggest factor is simply WHEN are peoples' upgrades? Most people aren't going to drop $600-800 to have it a few months early. 

  • Reply 20 of 47
    Even if it doesn't quite make that number it's still a shed load of phones.
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