Analyst who couldn’t find ‘missing’ iPhones thinks Apple won’t hit 10m in 2008 goal

Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi — you know, the “analyst” who couldn’t find Apple’s “missing” iPhones on his first try — is back for more.

As reported by MarketWatch’s Rex Crum, in a report issued today, Sacconaghi wrote, “While we believe the iPhone has the potential to drive material earnings growth for Apple, recent data points suggest the business is facing two significant challenges: (1) overall demand for the handset appears to be falling short of expectations; and (2) the incidence of ‘unlocking’ has been much higher than expected.”

Crum reports, “Sacconaghi pointed to the fact that Apple’s iPhone sales averaged 180,000 units a week in the last quarter of 2007, which historically is Apple’s busiest business period of the year. Based on that estimate, Saccohaghi forecasts that Apple should sell 7.9 million iPhones in 2008.”

“‘Apple’s goal of selling 10 million iPhones this year is optimistic, particularly if Apple insists on carrier revenue sharing without significant price cuts or new model introductions,’ Sacconaghi said,” Crum reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This Sacconaghi character obviously couldn’t analyze his ass from his elbow even with a full-length mirror.

What are the chances that:
• Apple will introduce new iPhone model(s) in 2008 (with the 3G holy grail, no less, so “analysts” like Toni will then have to gin up new/old things to complain about like built-in batteries or cases that scratch when you drop them on cement or something equally inane)?
• Apple will debut iPhone in additional countries in 2008?
• Apple will adjust iPhone pricing in 2008 (especially as new model debut(s) and storage bump(s) occur)?
• Apple’s imminent iPhone SDK release will positively impact iPhone sales in 2008?

High, high, high, and high. Yet, Toni acts like the current iPhone models being sold in the current four countries (US, UK, France, and Germany) at their current prices are all we’ll see in 2008, so if you do the math like a fool who lives in some weird, totally static world and who thinks past performance is directly indicative of future results, Apple won’t sell 10 million iPhone units in 2008.

Is Toni Sacconaghi just abjectly stupid and really bad at his job or does he just hate Apple for some reason? Or is Toni’s issue with AAPL something else entirely?

MacDailyNews Note: To make this perfectly clear, Apple’s publicly-stated goal is 10 million iPhone units in 2008 alone. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in his Macworld Expo 2007 keynote address that Apple would set the goal of selling 10 million iPhone units in 2008, the first full year on the market (Macworld Expo 2007 iPhone Introduction: Jobs’ remarks on iPhone goals begin at 1:15:52 into the QuickTime video). On July 25, 2007, during Apple’s conference call discussing Q3 – 2007 financial results, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer reiterated Apple’s goal of selling 10 million iPhone units in 2008 (Apple’s Q3 07 Apple Quarterly Results Call: Oppenheimer’s remarks on iPhone goals begin at 6:05 into the QuickTime audio stream).


  1. Shave my head and call me a ninny for asking off subject, but WHEN is Core Animation going to affect Mac software the way everyone was suggesting 8 months ago? Wasn’t everything supposed to be flying around in circles on the desktop by now? </shaving head and calling ninny>

  2. This guy really doesn’t understand the concept of the iPhone as a platform.

    The release of the SDK and 3rd party applications will be a major blow to the attractiveness of unlocked phones, as this will probably drive more frequent iPhone software updates that makes dealing with an unlocked phone a major PITA.

    3rd part applications will also generate more sales.

    If only Apple would fix the Flash issue, then people would have much less to complain about.

  3. before you guys go nuts and start calling this guy and idiot, you should understand that he is a very good analyst and knows his stuff. that being said, I do believe he is completely wrong about this issue.

  4. It’s not up to Apple to “fix the flash problem” its up to Adobe to create a Flash for OSX that doesn’t blow dog in terms of compute cycles and performance (ie: doesn’t need an Intel Core 2 processor to work adequately).

    Adobe makes Flash, not Apple. It’s Adobe’s problem to fix.

  5. You have to take in account that the Iphone is going on sale in many new countries this year, meaning the Iphone will be available to masses of people, who don’t want an unlocked Iphone they want a fully supported Iphone. This plus the inevitability of a new phone make the 10 million figure by the end of this year very possible.

  6. You said, “before you guys go nuts and start calling this guy and idiot, you should understand that he is a very good analyst and knows his stuff. that being said, I do believe he is completely wrong about this issue.”

    If he is such a good analyst then why does he have his time frame off so much. He said “in 2008” where Steve says by the end of 2008.
    One period is 18 months, one is 12 months. 50% difference. Just a thought and it now includes 3-4 countries as well. Just a thought.


  7. I thought that Jobs originally announced a goal of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008. That would include all iPhones sold in 2007 and all of 2008.

    I’ve often seen this staement misinterpreted as Apple would sell 10 million iPhones over a period of one year (from July 2007 through June 2008). This, I know is incorrect.

    But am I incorrect in my original assumption? Did Jobs say that Apple would sell 10 million phones in 2008 or did he say that Apple would sell 10 million phones by the end of 2008? Adding the 4 million iPhones already sold would make the 10 million figure look like a sure thing.

  8. So, the overall demand is down on the iPhone except…

    …for the people who are going through the convoluted process of buying them on the black market, going through the trouble to unlock them (and potentially creating an iBrick) and then using them on networks where the iPhone can’t really exploit all of it’s features?

    Hmm. Maybe Apple should just sell them all under the counter.

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