iPhone Supply Issues Dulling Apple's Shine?
Overwhelming demand for the iPhone has made it hard for Apple to keep the device in stock globally, so much so that some observers wonder if the company’s fourth-quarter earnings might be a slight disappointment.
In a note to investors today, Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner warned that supply-chain issues may have prevented Apple (AAPL) from selling the seven million iPhones consensus estimates have been predicting. “During the iPod event on Sept. 9…Apple implied that ~3.5M phones had been sold with only 21 days left in the quarter,” Reiner wrote. “Subsequent checks showed the iPhone 3GS sold out in many markets. Something was clearly preventing Apple from shipping to demand.”
Apple was able to resolve those issues, but they lasted long enough that Reiner fears consensus estimates implying that the company sold an additional 3.5 million iPhones in the final weeks of the quarter may be a bit too aggressive.
That said, it’s worth noting that Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster pointed out the same supply issues in a research note of his own earlier this week and came to a very different conclusion. Munster is calling for iPhone sales of about 7.5 million units in the Sept. quarter.
Who’s right? We’ll find out Monday, when Apple reports earnings.