Apple’s big ‘disappointment:’ They can’t make iPads and iPhone 4s quickly enough to satisfy demand

Apple Online Store“Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs went on the offensive on Monday after a rare disappointment in sales by the iPad maker sent its shares tumbling, but even his biting words failed to reverse market sentiment,” Gabriel Madway reports for Reuters under the headline “Jobs blasts rivals as iPad sales disappoint.”

MacDailyNews Take: Why, oh, why did iPad sales “disappoint,” Gabe? And, after that headline and opening line, how much more crap will we have to wade through to find out?

Madway veers off-course first, “Jobs, who has not addressed investors on an earnings call for two years, lashed out at competitors Google Inc and Research in Motion and dismissed the smaller tablets made by rivals such including Samsung and Dell. ‘The current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival,’ Jobs told analysts on the conference call. ‘Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small.'”

MacDailyNews Take: OMG, somebody spoke the unvarnished truth. Quick, call the PC police! Gee, we oh-so-hope that nobody’s fscking feelings are hurt. (smirk)

Madway continues, “Shares of Apple — the second-largest corporation on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, after Exxon Mobil — slid 6 percent in after-hours trading, which would be their biggest single-day loss since 2008.”

MacDailyNews Take: Get ready, wait for it, here comes the buried lede:

Madway continues, “Supply and production bottlenecks kept iPads, which have a 9.7-inch touch screen, from store shelves and buyers waiting weeks sometimes for their gadget. The company sold 4.19 million iPads in the fiscal fourth quarter. ‘A little bit disappointing there. Street was expecting closer to 5 million units. The problem is supply, they can’t make enough of them,’ said Gleacher & Co analyst Brian Marshall. Analysts said sales should ramp up in the holiday quarter as Apple resolves supply hitches.”

“Gross margins came to 36.9 percent, below Wall Street’s average forecast of 38.2 percent, despite better-than-expected components costs in the period,” Madway reports. “‘The one surprise is on the margin side. Everything else is pretty spectacular,’ said Gartner analyst Van Baker.”

MacDailyNews Take: Surprised?! We’re surprised Van Baker has a job because he obviously sucks at it. You were told very clearly three months ago to expect it, dummy. WTF are you “surprised?” Any analyst that claims to be “surprised” over Apple’s better-than-forecast gross margin for Q4 2010 is either incompetent or lying.

We expect gross margins to be about 35% reflecting approximately $14 million related to stock-based compensation expense. We expect most of the sequential decline to be due to a higher mix of the iPhone 4 and iPad sales, which have higher cost structures and provide great value to customers as well as the revenue deferral impact of the iPhone 4 case offer. To a lesser extent, we expect the sequential decline to be driven by back-to-school promotion and the absence of the favorable adjustment that benefited gross margin in the June quarter.Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, during Apple’s Q3 2010 earnings conference call with analysts, July 20, 2010

Madway continues, “Apple sold 14.1 million of the smartphones, a gain of 91 percent and better than Wall Street had expected. The company said demand is still outstripping supply, with the iPhone now available in 89 countries… Jobs noted that Apple’s iPhone outsold RIM’s BlackBerry in its most recent quarter. ‘I don’t see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future,’ Jobs said. And he criticized Google’s Android as a ‘fragmented’ operating system.”

MacDailyNews Take: It’s not bragging if you can back it up. – Muhammad Ali

Now, let’s partake in some more scrumptious, even more deeply buried lede:

Madway continues, “Some analysts agreed with Jobs, and foresaw sales of the iPad, which came on the market only in April, jumpstarting next year as the gadget gets rolled out to more countries and to more mass-market retail outlets like Wal-Mart Stores. As an indication of industry bullishness, research group iSuppli said it expects Apple to sell a whopping 43.7 million iPads next year. ‘Pads were low, but I also think they had a lot of production problems getting that off the ground. So I don’t think that really is a good demand indicator for iPad,’ said analyst Jane Snorek of First American Funds.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The convolutions now required to make Apple look “bad” are downright laughable. Our headline tells the real story – and right up front, too.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Doug A” for the heads up.]

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