Apple could post strong quarterly numbers thanks to an uptick in iPhone and Mac sales, according to analysts, although overall iPod sales could continue their downward trend. Those analysts believe that the iPhone is strongly positioned to take advantage of the continuing growth in the smartphone market. The strong initial sales of the iPad, including more than 500,000 units during the tablet PC's first week of general release, will also be a substantial factor when Apple announces its quarterly earnings April 20.
A combination of strong iPhone, Mac and iPad sales could
help Apple post strong quarterly numbers April 20, according to analysts. That
follows on the heels of reports that Apple sold more than 500,000 iPads during
the tablet PC's first week of general release.
During an April 8 news conference at the company's
Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, ostensibly set up to unveil the upcoming
iPhone OS 4, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that about 600,000 iBooks and 3.5
million iPad applications had been downloaded since the April 3 iPad launch.
The iPad's opening sales, coupled with strong growth for
other products, has analysts predicting a 47 percent jump in quarterly revenue,
to $12 billion, according
to an April 16 article in The Wall Street Journal. There is an expectation,
however, that sales of the iPod will also continue to decline.
"We have raised our revenue and EPS estimates modestly,
largely to account for higher-than-expected iPod ASPs, due to continued
strength in iPod Touch sales," A.M. (Toni) Sacconaghi Jr., an analyst with
Bernstein Research, wrote in an April 14 research note. "While several
opportunities exist (including iPad sales, gaming revenues, enhanced Apple TV),
we believe that the biggest opportunities remain centered around further
penetration of the iPhone, including broadening distribution to other carriers
and a lower priced, non-data plan iPhone offering."
Sacconaghi expects net shipments of 7.3 million iPhones for
the quarter, along with sales of 3.1 million Macs. However, the analyst also
predicts a 10 percent year-over-year decline in overall iPod unit sales,
despite continued market demand for the iPod Touch.
Other analysts concurred that the iPhone could continue to
drive Apple revenue upwards for the foreseeable future.
"Longer term, we believe the Street is underestimating the
growth potential in smartphones, where Apple is uniquely positioned to gain
share, thus the iPhone is likely to be a source of upside surprise for Apple
over the next year," Kevin Hunt, an analyst with Hapoalim Securities, wrote in
a research note quoted in the WSJ article.
Despite the impact of a global recession, Apple managed to
consistently outperform financial estimates for 2009 and into 2010. Last
company announced revenue of $15.68 billion and a net quarterly profit of
$3.38 billion, with sales of 3.36 million Macs, 8.7 million iPhones and 21
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.