Apple iPhone sales hit 17 million in the most recent quarter, beneath some analyst expectations, but they expect those to rise on pent-up demand.
Apple's iPhone sold below certain analysts' expectations,
but there's nonetheless a feeling among some in the numbers-parsing community
that sales of the smartphone will spring back before the end of the year.
That certain analysts were mildly disappointed in iPhone sales
during the most recent quarter may seem a bit odd, considering that Apple
managed to "only" sell 17.07 million iPhones during that period. Nonetheless,
those analysts were expecting iPhone sales to rise above 20 million units.
"While iPhone sales slowed during the September quarter due
to the timing of the iPhone 4S launch, we anticipate iPhone sales could rebound
to over 27 [million] units during the December quarter," Canaccord Genuity
analyst Michael Walkley wrote in an Oct. 19 research note. "We believe the
iPhone will grow faster than the smartphone market during the December
International distribution will play a part in Apple's
overall sales numbers for the coming quarter. "We believe iPhone sales will
continue to ramp internationally with China, Russia and Brazil," he added. "In
fact, Asia-Pacific region sales increased by over 100 percent [year-over-year],
and we believe solid sales of the iPhone in this region (especially China) will
continue to ramp."
Other analysts seemed to concur that what they deemed
"disappointing" iPhone sales numbers for the quarter would be erased by
increased demand through the end of the calendar year, as customers move to
refresh their aging devices with the iPhone 4S.
"The company reported iPhone sales of 17.1 million, below
our expectations of 22 million and the buyside at about 20 million," Piper
Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in an Oct. 18 research note. "We see this as
a disappointment, but given the strong start to iPhone 4S sales, we believe it is
clear that units were pushed from the Sept. quarter into the Dec. quarter as
customers waited for the -iPhone 5.'"
Apple unveiled its latest iPhone, the iPhone 4S, Oct. 4. The
following day, the company announced the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Less than two weeks later, the iPhone 4S managed to sell some 4 million units
by the end of its first weekend of release, reaffirming the smartphone
franchise's popularity in the face of rising competition from the likes of
Apple's revenue during the quarter hit $28.27 billion,
resulting in a net profit of $6.62 billion: a marked increase over the year-ago
quarter's $20.34 billion in revenue and $4.31 billion net profit. Gross margins
also climbed over the previous 12 months,
from 36.9 percent to 40.3 percent.
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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.