“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.
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.]