‘Worst of the bad news’ is behind Apple when it comes to iPhone sales

“Though Apple’s March-quarter iPhone shipments will likely be disappointing, there are signs that a recovery is underway, according to an analyst report issued on Wednesda,” Roger Fingas reports for AppleInsider.

“‘While March mix is still bad, the tone in the supply chain is staring to improve and price reductions in China may be starting to clear channel inventory,’ Timothy Arcuri from IBS said in a memo seen by AppleInsider,” Fingas reports. “Procurement estimates for the iPhone XR are claimed to be up quarter-over-quarter in June, something unusual for an iPhone at this stage in its product cycle.”

“UBS is boosting its June-quarter iPhone estimates from 32.5 million units to 34.5 million, though mostly on the basis that Apple is expected to sell more pre-2018 models,” Fingas reports. “For the March quarter, UBS is leaving its iPhone shipment predictions unchanged at 40 million, but arguing that 5 million more of those will be pre-2018 models, offsetting reductions of 2 million for the iPhone XR, 1.5 million for the iPhone XS, and another 2 million for the iPhone XS Max.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: More proof that some rather myopic analysts remain inordinately fixated on meaningless 90-day increments of iPhone unit sales.

4 Comments

  1. While indeed short term monitoring of noise is what Wall Street does best, Apple’s trends are not promising. There are serious issues.

    1) Apple’s iPhone hardware seems to have progressed to the point where Apple no longer has any new features to add that are compelling, especially at the inflated prices Apple demands.

    2) Basic hardware design and wise product family planning, once Apple strong points, has in the last decade completely fallen apart. The gaps in the product lineup are glaring, the price points objectionable, the RAM pricing obscene, and details like iPhone power button or iMac port location absolutely stupid. Apple acts like a fashion house, not a tech leader. Another random example: iPads and Macs have no SD card slot so that pro level photographers can use a big display in the field without fussing with battery-draining wireless gimmicks. How stupid is that?

    3) Apple is in a world of hurt with supply base. It is entirely dependent on its key rivals for displays and memory, not to mention its all-in-China assembly. Too busy pushing subcription media, there is nobody apparently focusing on hardware and software excellence. Apple apparently can’t decide if it wants to continue to support Lightning, its dongle price gouging technology, which has capability limitations; or USB-C, which it forced hard with its Macs well before there was a peripheral industry ready to replace all the features Apple unceremoniously axed from Macs. Now Apple has one iOS device with USB-C and a handful of kludge USB-C peripherals that only work with Macs … and now have serious security concerns.

    4) Apple to date has shown that is can’t keep its powerful big products (Macs, Airports, Displays, etc) products fresh while it is busy attempting to please Ive’s design demands for fashion wearables. It is losing the mainstream market by pricing them out. If Apple can’t maintain legacy product lines or keep Macs fresh, it makes people question why they should rent media or trust in Apple’s ecosystems. They clearly can’t manage anything beyond a few years.

    5) Saved for number 5 is the elephant in the room. Apple seems to be last in line for 5G modems. As a result, it is likely Apple will be last to market for a MacBook with a 5G modem installed, or with a usable affordable mainstream 5G iPhone. Not a big surprise, Apple has always been slow to support the latest mobile tech: Verizon offered 4G LTE in 2010, and it took until 2012 for Apple to offer compatibility with the iPhone 5. WE all know that overhyped 5G will take another year or two to gain foothold but Apple (again, this is Cook’s Apple) appears flatfooted. How many years before Apple even begins to talk about supporting 5G? My guess is that if asked about it, Pipeline would talk in generalities about exciting things in his pipeline. He doesn’t seem to understand the stakes involved in getting there first. If 5G achieves only a fraction of the capabilities promised, then (barring hideous price gouging on behalf of carriers) consumers will gladly leave their walled gardens in order to get the first 5G phones. Apple will need to show consumers it has a prototype and a timeline. Apple’s silence only reinforces the reality that Apple’s distractions are preventing it from keeping up with smaller rivals.

    There are reasons that Apple isn’t wooing new investors like when Jobs captained the ship.

    1. Unfortunately, all good points.

      It very much seems that Apple’s corporate attention is elsewhere, and all current products are suffering from a lack of attention.

      For quite awhile, I was under the impression that this was because of the rumors of an autonomous automobile, but now I’m starting to wonder if the REAL ‘Project Titan’ is more tied to the healthcare industry, as that would be a tieback to a comment from Steve Jobs in his final year on how ripe for disruption that industry is. From this perspective, the Apple Watch fits in very well as a tech enabler.

  2. Potential headwind Number 6:
    Apple is facing increasing pressure to provide governments and agencies a back-door for encryption. In US I think that will be hard to overcome, but it’s quite likely that other governments will insist on it and ban the sale of iphones entirely if it doesn’t comply. I doubt Apple will compromise so will just stop selling in the region. Hopefully those regions won’t have a material impact.

    (For a severe example search Diego Dzodan in Brazil who was thrown in jail temporarily for not providing info)

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