Apple CFO on iPhone: ‘we’re not sitting around doing nothing’

“On the heels of its second best quarter ever and record Mac sales, Merrill Lynch has upgraded Apple stock from a ‘neutral’ to a ‘buy’ and raised its price target to $72–in part based on the company’s tacit acknowledgement of plans for an iPhone in Wednesday’s conference call,” MacNN reports.

MacNN reports, “Analyst Richard Farmer noted that Apple’s CFO Peter Oppenheimer made an indirect statement on Wednesday, alluding to an iPhone in its Q3 quarterly financial call.”

“‘Although the potential for iPod phone is not news, its financial impact is not in consensus estimates and the fact that management publicly alluded to it (albeit indirectly) on the conference call reinforces the possibility that its introduction could be near enough to influence consensus estimates within the next 12 months,’ Farmer said; however, the analyst does not believe Apple will release such a device until early in 2007,” MacNN reports.

MacNN reports, “‘We are very confident in our ability to compete in the marketplace. And we’re very excited about what we have in the product pipeline, and you know that I can’t comment on that,’ Oppenheimer said in response to an analyst who asked about the impact of Sony’s music phones and their success. ‘As regards cell phones, we don’t think that the phones that are available today make the best music players. We think the iPod is. But over time, that is likely to change. And we’re not sitting around doing nothing.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Whopsie! Oppenheimer likely cringed at least inside as those words passed his lips yesterday. He had to know that Steve Jobs would be placing a call on his prototype iPhone as soon as the conference call ended. Looking back at our live conference call notes, we jotted, “Oppenheimer: Music phones aren’t ready to compete with iPod now, but that is likely to change in the future. Apple is ‘not sitting around doing nothing.'” Yup, that qualifies as “tacit acknowledgement of plans for an iPhone.”

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28 Comments

  1. I’d rather see a phone-in-an-iPod than an iPod-in-a-phone. Apple could keep the nano form factor and users could dial friends from their existing contacts list. It could have a slide-out keypad for dialling numbers not already in memory.

    Adding a mike to the existing earbuds would top it off nicely.

  2. I can’t believe people are getting so worked up about this supposed “slip.”

    The statement is directed at analysts who downgrade Apple’s stock because of a product announcement from another company. Apple is hard at work in their labs creating and refining products all the time. Many of these will never see the light of day.

    Remember at WSJ’s D: All Things Digital conference two year’s ago, Steve Jobs said he was proud of all of Apple’s products, both those they had shipped and the things they decided not to ship. When pressed for an answer on an unshipped product, Steve himself replied, “an Apple PDA.”

    Apple is working on several “insanely great” products at any given moment. Secrecy is one of their business strategies, no matter how large they get.

    MW: “learned” as in “You would think the analysts would have learned by now that Apple Computer does not comment on unreleased products.”

  3. Oh come on. that doesn’t mean Apple is making a stupid phone. I interpreted what he said as Apple is not sitting around means they will continue to make music devices that will compete with other technologies, i.e. cell phone music players.

    I will loose all respect for Apple if they actually come out with their own cell phone.

  4. Charko wrote
    “the people who were shorting Apple are laughing all the way to the bank …. think about it!”

    Um, i am thinking about it. Short selling is basically a bet that the stock is going to go down. If it doesn’t you have to cover the margin.

    “Short sellers assume the risk that they will be able to buy the stock at a more favorable price than the price at which they sold short.”

    If they were shorting it at 50, then that makes 60 a NOT maore favorable price does it not? Someone shorting the stock would have hoped it would go down to 45 or 40. OOPS. Aint much laughing going on is there?

    Short selling doesn’t refer to short term investors, like day traders. It’s a strategy for making money off stock you dont own, but with a huge risk if the stock goes up instead of down.

  5. I see one major drawback to an phone/mp3/iPod device – you can’t use them on a plane.

    I notice that quite a few airline passengers are listening to music players – mostly iPods. If your music player is also part of your cell phone, the flight attendants will make you turn it off, or even confiscate it (I’ve seen it) for the duration of the flight.

    The same holds true for phones that would play videos/movies, although who would want to watch a movie on a cellphone screen?

  6. Wonder if you will be able to change the battery in the thing or if you will have to buy a whole new iPhone once talk time is less than a hour. Hopefully Apple will allow users to easily replace the battery themselves.

    Peace.

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