“Having stirred up a hornet’s nest with his first take in the so-called missing iPhones, Bernstein Research’s Apple specialist Toni Sacconaghi has taken a second look at the discrepancy between the number of iPhones Apple sold (3.75 million through Dec. 29) and the number AT&T actually activated (just under 2 million through Dec. 31),” Philip Elmer-DeWitt blogs for Fortune.
“His conclusion: most of the devices he describes as ‘missing in action’ are not sitting in warehouses, as he originally surmised, but were siphoned off into the gray market for unlocked iPhones,” Elmer-DeWitt writes. “His best guess is that in 2007 as many as 1 million iPhones may have been hacked by resellers and activated by carriers that are not paying Apple a kickback on every monthly charge.”
Elmer-DeWitt writes, “This is a big problem for Apple, says Sacconaghi.”
Full article here.
You’d think the one with the biggest problem would be a so-called “analyst” and “Apple specialist” who first told his clients and everyone else that the iPhones were “missing in action” or gathering dust in the channel and then figured out the real answer days late.
But, that would be a world in which people were held accountable for their actions. Instead, we seem to be in a world where just about anyone can get hired as an “analyst” and get their malformed, knee-jerk “analysis” widely quoted and published just about anywhere. If their idiocy and ineptitude affects the stock price one way or the other, so be it. Then, when they get around to “taking a second look” and find something closer to the reality of the situation, we’re still supposed to give a shit what they think? Sorry, not here.
Yes, iPhones that are sold and unlocked fail to generate additional carrier-derived revenue for Apple. This explains the iPhone’s across-the-board unsubsidized price. Apple still derives a profit from each unit sold. There are no “missing” iPhones: Apple got paid for each and every one. In Apple’s conference call last Tuesday, CFO Peter Oppenheimer addressed this issue and stated that Apple sees iPhone unlocking as a “good problem to have” and is a sign of iPhone’s popularity.
“Apple specialist” Sacconaghi will no doubt come up with new theories as to how Apple will not achieve their goal of selling 10 million iPhones in 2008. And when Apple blows that goal away and Sacconaghi proven is wrong yet again, will he finally be held accountable by his firm and/or clients?
Are you a Bernstein Research client currently holding AAPL? If so, why? Hopefully, you’re operating independently and ignoring “analysis” from “Apple specialist” Toni Sacconaghi.