Analyst worries over iPad demand, advises caution

“In a rare cautious research note from the Street on Apple, Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair this morning advised investors that it may be time to move to the sidelines with the stock getting close to $620 a share,” Eric Savitz reports for Forbes. “‘We’re concerned iPad sales may not be as strong as expectations, and we believe March could disappoint,’ [Blair wrote.] ‘The opening weekend number of 3 million was significant, and of course spoke mostly to pre-orders and to strong weekend sales from Apple’s biggest fans, but in looking at the overall demand picture, there doesn’t appear to be as much of a frenzy as we expected over the new iPad,” he writes. “We can walk into any Apple store and get one today, easily, and that may be a problem, given rising expectations. If existing units in the channel take longer than expected to be digested by consumers, then manufacturing will be pulled back in the June quarter, and estimates for the full year will also be pulled down.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Or, maybe, just maybe, knowing better what to expect, Apple made more iPads this time around than they did with iPad 2?

“Blair writes that he had expected the company to sell 9-10 million units in the March quarter, but that some estimates have run as high as 12-13 million units,” Savitz reports. “He has been forecasting 56-60 million units for calendar 2012, and had thought that they could top 60 million units. But Blair says he now thinks the full year number could be at the bottom end of his forecast range, or maybe lower.”

MacDailyNews Take: Hey, before we go any further with this charade, let’s see just how accurate this Brian Blair is with his iPad predictions, shall we?

“We understand Apple has recently cut production of the iPad by 15-20% for the December quarter… This would take our iPad unit estimate… down to approximately 13 million units for December.” – Brian Blair, September 26, 2011

Apple went on to sell 15.43 million iPads during the December quarter, a 111% YOY unit increase.

Boom.

Savitz reports, “‘In short, the new iPad is available and it shouldn’t be,’ he writes. ‘We’ve seen occasional sellouts of a few models (the white AT&T 4G 32GB for example, hasn’t always been available), but for the most part since launch day, we’ve been able to walk into any Apple store and get one. We’ve also called a number of stores around the country and found easy availability. Online, the orders quickly shot to a 2 to 3-week shipping delay. They are now down to a 1- 2 week delay and our concern is demand may be waning somewhat after 2 weeks. Either way, there seems to be a disconnect between in-store and on-line availability of the new iPad.’ Blair notes that this is in contrast to the iPad 2, which was harder to get.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: You can bet your Mac that we’ve iCal’ed this for future use.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]

31 Comments

    1. Again more ANALCysts Bullshit, The issue is really that these guys toss these stupid comments around and have zero accountability. You know that people are going to buy Apple stock like crazy today why because it dropped perhaps the silly news from the ANALCysts contributed who knows the fact remains that these guys are broken clocks. They are only right twice a day and wrong the rest of the day. They make wild claims to impress I guess the poor dupes they work for and present their findings to their clients.
      If they had any real data to back up what they are saying they would be insider trading so what is one to do. Just toss shit around and hope something sticks. Total BS ANALCysts

  1. Idiot! Apple already showed they had a HUGE supply available by going to 30 countries just a week after the initial multi-country release. Remember how iPad 1 had international sales postponed by an extra month because demand in the US was too high? Apple’s simply ready for the higher demand. This guy is just trying to get the stock cheaper so he’ll make a bundle when it goes up when the real numbers come out.

    1. MDN:

      It’s about time we saw the results of some of those “iCal’ed” events from the past. For example, what were the “iCal’ed” events from two years back and how they resolved out.

      1. Perhaps MDN should do a “Back from the iCal” article every so often, and just go through all the things they iCal’d and how they really played out 🙂 It would make for some awesome reading 🙂

  2. After I placed my online order for a 32GB 4G (with a 1-2 week ship time), I was at the store and was shocked to find it available for purchase. I promptly cancelled my order and bought one on the spot. I remember how everyone thought it was a disaster that ye supply of the iPad 2 could not meet the demand. Now it’s a disaster that the supply appears to be adequate?!?

    My take wasn’t one of doom or analysis… by rather one is gratitude. I’m blown away by the new iPad and find it a worthy upgrade l, even from my similarly equipped iPad 2.

  3. It is time for analysts and the companies they work for to be held more accountable for their statements. If their predictions fail to prove accurate and in doing so have caused stocks to lose value, they should be open to lawsuit and or sanctions from the SEC.

  4. Who the Hell is “Wedge Partners”? Never heard of them, OR this Blair clown for that matter. Thanks to MDN’s research, this moron was off of his September 2011 prediction for iPad numbers by some 20%! And he calls himself an analyst? Hell, I’m going to call myself an analyst if that’s as close as you have to get to be credible!

  5. I just read all of Wedge Partners (wedge notes) research reports for the last year. They never say anything. The note today made it to CNBC and we all know the smallest news can move a stock that trades at $620, down 1-2% is nothing in the grand scheme of things but of course can be 50% for option holders. Again, the research never says anything. They don’t rate stocks buy, sell or hold, they just say stuff. Today they said they are moving to the sidelines with Apple at $620, then you get another analyst yesterday who said Apple is going to $1,650 in 3 years but would hit $500 before $700, again what is that nonsense? These days can wipe out those of us who hold options and I wouldn’t be surprised if a real analsyt comes out tomorrow with a buy reiteration. I just can’t believe one unknown report by a analyst with no history (from Thomson One the foremost provider of research reports) can move Apple so much. As MDN said, “mark your calendar,” and we will revisit the iPad numbers in about a month. Don’t forget the quarter ended on March 26th, so we will get the sales for the first week only, and that could result in a lower than expected sales figure, but then again, not one Analyst or blogger knew that iPad would be called “iPad,” not iPad 3 or iPad HD. No one ever knows and sometimes bad research that is reported on the wrong day really hurts. Let’s just hope for a stronger close and rebound in the weeks to come.

  6. Delighted to say my iPad 3 arrived a couple of days early.

    I always order online as I like to engrave my machinery 🙂

    Whether the excellent delivery is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for stockholders I can’t say – but it’s surely good for me!

  7. “But Blair says he now thinks the full year number could be at the bottom end of his forecast range, or maybe lower.”

    Oh no! Not in the bottom end of the forecast range!!!!!!!

    Apple is obviously tanking because they might only reach the bottom range of an analysts forecasts!!! O! M! Fing! G!
    How terrible.

    Oh, just to prove it, you can buy walk into a store and buy one. This has nothing to do with supply, only with demand.
    Awesome bit of work, Sherlock.

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