Gaming Apple's Next Quarter
Who knows what the future will be, given the worldwide economic slowdown. But we ranked as the third largest mobile phone supplier in revenues. Not bad for being in the market for only 15 months.”
— Apple CEO Steve Jobs, during a rare appearance on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call
With the holiday consumer binge nearly upon us and lower-income households reportedly turning to Apple’s iPhone 3G as a means of saving money they might otherwise spend on a separate broadband connection and cellphone service, one would think that the company would be headed for another blowout quarter. Apple (AAPL) sold 6.9 million iPhones in its last quarter; no reason to think it won’t sell a similar number in the next, especially when they will have been more broadly available around the world.
Maybe. Maybe not. Claiming that some two million of the 6.9 million phones Apple sold in the last quarter are still sitting in carrier inventories, some bearish folks suggest that the econalypse will prevent Apple from producing another big quarter. Others, like research outfit JRPG, are more optimistic. With the iPhone now widely available across Europe and Asia, JRPG says Apple could sell as many as eight million iPhones, even if the financial crisis stalls state-side sales. “It’s not that we don’t believe that the recession will bite hard across Europe and Asia,” JRPG said in a note to clients Friday. “But it won’t bite the man in the Street until after Christmas.”
So, apparently it’s not the upcoming quarter that Apple investors may have to worry about, but the one that follows. …