Piper: over half million "missing" iPhones likely in channel

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
With Apple having announced iPhone shipments far in excess of reported activations, the ongoing debate about exactly what happened to all those other "missing" units continued on Friday, with investment bank Piper Jaffray weighing in with its own explanation.



According to the firm, Apple sold 3.7 million iPhones during the three-month period ending December, 2 million of which were confirmed by AT&T to have been activated on its US wireless network during that same time.



Taking a closer look at the remaining/missing 1.7 million units, analyst Gene Munster said in a research note that believes another 350,000 were sold throughout Europe during the same time period and another 838,00 were sold with the intent that they'd be unlocked.



Munster arrived at the latter figure by using Apple's own estimation from back in October than approximately 22 percent of US iPhone sales were being purchased with the intent that they'd later be unlocked from AT&T's network. The analyst, however, rounded that estimation up to 25 percent of the 3.7 million units given that unlocking has since "become easier."



That still leaves 512,000 iPhones which are unaccounted for, but Munster maintains that these units are likely spread across the company's US and European distribution channels and that the level of inventory is "consistent with Mac and iPod levels over the past 3 years."



Specifically, he believes 220,000 units are spread between Apple and AT&T outlets in the US, with the other 292,000 peppered around authorized resellers in the UK, France and Germany.







While slightly less than the 670,000 in channel inventory estimated earlier this week by Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, Munster's figure is well within the same ballpark.



The end result: there are likely only several hundred thousand units unaccounted for -- rather than nearly 1.5 million -- because they comprise Apple's normal level of channel inventory, estimated by Munster to be approximately 5 weeks in the case of iPhone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,161member
    And I thought losing my keys was bad!
  • Reply 2 of 67
    Anything to fudge the numbers so that Apple shareholders don't realize that iPhones are more popular unlocked than locked. I certainly wouldn't have one if not for the dev team.
  • Reply 3 of 67
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    According to the firm, Apple sold 3.7 million iPhones during the three-month period ending December, 2 million of which were confirmed by AT&T to have been activated on its US wireless network during that same time.





    The firm would appear to be wrong, then. \



    Apple sold 3.7 million iPhones from the US launch (June) through December, not "during the three-month period ending in December", i.e. calendar Q4.



    In calendar Q4 (i.e. fiscal Q1), Apple sold 2.3 million iPhones, according to their own press release:



    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080122/aqtu214.html?.v=16





    .
  • Reply 4 of 67
    I can confirm that there are quite a few unlocked iPhones in Belgium, where the iPhone is not even officially sold. Then again, being sandwiched between France and Germany, it is perhaps not that surprising.
  • Reply 5 of 67
    Well the numbers are all very imprecise, but one thing to consider is that the AT&T figures end in December. If Steve meant that 4 million were sold by the time of the keynote, and if his figure of 20,000 iphones / day is correct, then the 15 days in january would account for 300,000 more iPhones.
  • Reply 6 of 67
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jbella View Post


    Well the numbers are all very imprecise, but one thing to consider is that the AT&T figures end in December. If Steve meant that 4 million were sold by the time of the keynote, and if his figure of 20,000 iphones / day is correct, then the 15 days in january would account for 300,000 more iPhones.



    That's why the article said 3.7 million iphones, instead of 4 million.
  • Reply 7 of 67
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    Actually, they're all in my garage. My mate Lord Lucan is looking after them.
  • Reply 8 of 67
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ....analyst Gene Munster said in a research note that believes another 350,000 were sold throughout Europe during the same time period and another 838,00 were sold with the intent that they'd be unlocked.....



    Note that these figures are totally unsubstantiated. Interesting guess, nonetheless. My estimate in the other thread was 800,000 unlocked. (I made this estimate in the other thread before Munster spoke out.
  • Reply 9 of 67
    I think hes forgetting the amount of iphone that are on sale up here in Canada

    throughtout the local computer stores Unlock phones intalking about.



    Hope they justBring the DARM iPhone to Canada Soon
  • Reply 10 of 67
    i think its all the $$$ and apple wins anyway. its just that since iphone is new they just want the item to really take off, but remember apple is a software company after all, and if they want they could encrypt the Baseband so hard that hackers will just give up on it, but i guess its not a good idea for them to do it just yet but its possible they could do it anytime they want. remember although the SDK is coming out the baseband will still be restricted
  • Reply 11 of 67
    There are 1500 on eBay, 150 on Craigslist, and I have a used one in my desk drawer. There are also at least 50 videos of broken iPhones on YouTube and dont forget the ones that are sitting at the Apple & AT&T store on display. That is at least 1,000 more so that adds another 2,700 to the MIA list.
  • Reply 12 of 67
    wjhmhwjhmh Posts: 55member
    I'm sure plenty of them "fell off the back of a truck" & to be sold at a reasonable price.



  • Reply 13 of 67
    Nobody cares where the iPhones went. Please stop filling up my RSS reader with this piddle.



    Why can't someone get bit by a shark so I don't have to hear about iPhones that people have purchased but haven't begun using yet?
  • Reply 14 of 67
    I live in Hong Kong and I see iPhones all over the place even though they're not 'officially' available yet...and they sell for about $US600



    Personally, I'm waiting for v2 when the iPhone works properly with all the features it should have had in the beginning.
  • Reply 15 of 67
    I was recently in Teheran, of all places

    it is a pity I can't pictures here, otherwise I would have posted a picture of a shop in downtownn Teheran with a poster on the window pane notifying that the shop has the latest iPhone update for sale



    by the way while I did not buy Leopard yet, friends in Teheran use a Leopard bootleg, bought there for about 10 dollar
  • Reply 16 of 67
    This analysis is seriously flawed. As any first year accountancy student will know, if you post stock as sold, the exchange and securities commission will come down on you like a ton of bricks. That would be worse than Enron!!!!!!

    I just can't believe an organisation like Piper would make such a basic mistake.



    Mike
  • Reply 17 of 67
    Everywhere in the world you can find iPhone.

    The best way to ship worldwide is http://www.myus.com/

    I have one official and one unofficial (ofcourse) for testing software activation etc.



    Like me more and more will come.



    iPhone will be 20 million unit/sales as soon as start Italy/Japan the 2 biggest contries for mobile telephones penetration and very attentive to design.
  • Reply 18 of 67
    foobarfoobar Posts: 103member
    I also say: unlockers, unlockers, unlockers...



    If you don't believe me, check ebay in as many countries as you like. Here in Germany, unlocked iPhones are still selling at a rate of 100/day on ebay alone. And that's with an official one available! (People really don't like these plans...)



    So the iPhones are in unlocker's channels. They've stocked up on breakable ones before 1.1.2 came around.
  • Reply 19 of 67
    This is so ridiculous -- do these people NEVER travel?? I would bet almost all of the "missing" iPhones are in daily use across the world -- the last couple months I have been in Spain, Italy, and all over Canada and there are iPhones absolutely everywhere -- people use them in all the wireless cafes and you see them just everywhere. This entire "opinion" is just a sham to cover up the million or so unlocked iPHones out there.
  • Reply 20 of 67
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mike A View Post


    This analysis is seriously flawed. As any first year accountancy student will know, if you post stock as sold, the exchange and securities commission will come down on you like a ton of bricks. That would be worse than Enron!!!!!!

    I just can't believe an organisation like Piper would make such a basic mistake.



    Mike



    That's why Apple used the word "shipped" in their SEC filings.



    Any first year accountancy student would ignore Steve Jobs' Keynote speech and go directly to the filings.
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