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Analysts disagree about Apple iPhone sales figures

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Analysts disagree about Apple iPhone sales figures
On Monday morning, Apple announced that it had sold a record 9 million Apple iPhone 5s and Apple iPhone 5c units during the launch weekend and all was right with the world again. Apple CEO Tim Cook was once again branded a genius worthy of carrying Steve Jobs' jock and all of a sudden Samsung was relegated to the position of a pesky competitor to Apple. That is pesky like a fly that keeps buzzing around your head is pesky.

But not all Wall Street analysts quickly put any (excuse the pun) stock in the figures. Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, no stranger to this site, believes that only 5.5 million units of the two new iPhone models were sold through to consumers while the rest were sold to carriers to help them fill inventory. In past years, those carrier bought models would have ended up sold anyway. But this year, the carriers are sitting with a ton of Apple iPhone 5c units in their inventory, unsold.

Jefferies' Peter Misek, whose clients are presumably going to have a nice tax writeoff with his poorly timed BlackBerry buy recommendation, and Chuck Jones at Forbes, both agree with Munster that a portion of the reported 9 million in sales were for carriers to re-stock. But both see only 2 million to 3 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c units actually sold to consumers over the weekend.

Only Apple knows the real story and they will pass it along to us when the next quarterly report is due.

source: TheVerge, BloombergTV

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posted on 25 Sep 2013, 01:30 46

1. Topcat488 (Posts: 1396; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)

Apple lying again... Cause 2-3 million is a lot different than 9 million.

Sum of the story: "Just another marketing trick", by Apple.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 01:48 36

3. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

More like an iGimmick by Apple.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 04:06 7

23. THE.DARK.KNIGHT (banned) (Posts: 269; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)

Don't listen to anal-ysts.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 05:51 6

31. seret6 (Posts: 160; Member since: 14 Aug 2013)

is this another slap on apple's face?

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 05:56 1

33. darkkjedii (Posts: 21688; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

The Sammites hope this is true. Apple sold 9 million dude. That's that. Awesome phone BTW...

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 12:26 2

50. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10278; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

You are aware the Galaxy S III sold 9M on pre-order too when it was first announced...right?

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 14:11

60. Sauce (unregistered)

They are all in D E N I A L


posted on 25 Sep 2013, 21:55 1

64. johnbftl (Posts: 281; Member since: 09 Jun 2012)

Just like when a musician's album goes Gold or Platinum, they are more than likely counting the amount of units sold to retailers and not to actual customers. An artist can sell one million records without ever actual selling anywhere near that. I don't believe Apple, or any other company for that matter should be able to count units sold at retail or as upgrades either. Only new activations.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 13:30 1

58. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

Except when they validate your position, eh? Then they are 'eXperts'....

posted on 26 Sep 2013, 20:42

65. glentomas123 (Posts: 70; Member since: 01 Jun 2011)

Maybe you should have listened to the report before commenting.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 02:45 14

13. android_hitman (unregistered)

where is that apple fanboy?

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 09:56 3

43. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)

3 of the shameless ones are here...

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 20:21

63. phil2n (Posts: 487; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

BOOM.. some good news today

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 03:00 20

17. msa1988 (Posts: 418; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)

This is probably true. As an Apple fan I was shocked to see such large sales numbers considering how disppointed I was in the phone itself. They can mark-to-market all they want now and boost their image in the short run but they can't run from Q3 numbers next month.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 13:34 1

59. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

Q4 sales will be the real telling metric. If they can't beat what they did last year, it will be a colossal FAIL.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 03:26 14

19. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

hahahahahahaha what a shame Fruit

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 03:35 1

21. Finalflash (Posts: 3129; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)

I'll see if I can grab some numbers

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 04:09 2

24. Finalflash (Posts: 3129; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)

Alright, so Apple increased its 4th quarter outlook from the lower end of their estimates to the higher end (34 to 37 billion expect 36+ they say and expect higher margins than before as well around 37%). This coupled with "9 million" is amazing and magical as well. But not all is clear in Cupertino since last year they made sales of 36 billion with margins of 40%. But even with that last year they were derided for going downhill with their money making for once. So this year they should have expected to make just as much and then some but actually expected less? I doubt it, likely playing the under promise and over deliver game. But they are still under promising because this time they should be making more money on all their products. Cheaper to make iPhones in both regards (5c definitely and 5s is on a very mature process with a cheaper to produce chip (die shrink) and only fingerprint sensor (very cheap simple components) as new components). So expect them to release slightly better financials (unless something goes terribly wrong) and most analysts to forget for the most part that it is all just a numbers game.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 12:28 1

51. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10278; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

All you said was right except one thing, smaller chips cost more to make vs bigger ones.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 04:15 7

26. ScottSchneider (Posts: 334; Member since: 06 Dec 2011)

Well... I think Apple paid PA to raise up the review and give the iPhoneys/iPuny a 9+ score to pick up sales... but that also didnt go well as planned... 9.3 and 9 for the iphone is kind of unusual from PA... iPhone 5 got only 8.5...

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 09:59 3

44. SellPhones82 (Posts: 569; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

This is nothing new, every year their "sales" numbers are units shipped out of Foxcon, not units actually sold to end uses. To me that is a big difference, but what do I Know. Any company could make 10 million of an item and ship them somewhere but that to me does not constitute a "sale". They never take into consideration the number of unsold units that are still sitting in store or else where. Artificial #'s Inflation!

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 01:43 28

2. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Hahaha..What a iShame!!! Fooling around to iPhone users.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 01:50 27

4. woodshop20 (Posts: 459; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)

Are we surprised about Apple's shady marketing tactics? All you iFans that swarmed on Samsung when they posted wrong sales figures, what you got now?

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 01:54 3

5. x7black7x (Posts: 118; Member since: 19 Feb 2012)

hahahh now apple are being sarcastic!!! :P

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 01:58 6

6. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Interesting. Of course, analysts aren't privy to the actual sales figures.

Interesting that the iPhone 5c didn't sell nearly as many units as were in Apple's inventory. As for the 9 million sales potentially being false, I'm a little surprised. Apple is disingenuous about many things, but sales figures are one thing they've never really been dishonest about before.

Of course, if their weekend sales really did collapse that badly, they would have every reason to lie.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 02:26 1

9. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

"Of course, if their weekend sales really did collapse that badly, they would have every reason to lie."

There are actually 2 stories about an Apple sales fail.

The next story will be about the exchange of 5Cheap units for 5S stock. The 5Cheap phones won't be selling, and in about two months, the carriers are going to start the return process. If Apple is lucky, they will swap the 5Cheap returns for 5S stock.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 04:12 2

25. Finalflash (Posts: 3129; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)

There is no exchange with Apple, the carriers wish they could. Why did more lower end iPhone models sell last year you ask then the high end model every quarter? Well that is because carriers started to actively push the lower end to decrease inventory and lower orders for the high end 5. That is why all last year the stock kept dropping due to men results. That and they started to push droid phones because those make just as much money and can be returned or exchanged by the carriers.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 09:32 2

42. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

Then Apple screwed their partners yet again. What ever quantity of 5Cheap phones were sold to carriers will likely only be replaced as those units are sold. The problem with multiple colors is that certain colors are more popular than others. Not being able to exchange unpopular colors for more popular ones is going hurt sales. I expect there will be even more cannibalization of the iPhone sales than occurred last time around.

No wonder Apples share price took a hit right after the 5Cheap was announced. Long term outlook doesn't look that good, either, especially if the 5S sales are soft.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 02:53 3

15. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

I've always been suspicious about apple's sales figures. They never disclose how many new, used, restocked, refurbished, warranty, and insurance phones pass from them to (eventually) the customer. I will grant that iphones are popular, but their sales numbers and actual market share don't quite match. I'd be willing to believe the 2-5M sold, especially given production runs and timing (though there have been product leaks for months). 9M totally made and perhaps moved from china factories to the inventory supply chain (aka "shipped"), but unlikely 9M sold to customers.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 03:44 2

22. Pdubb (Posts: 248; Member since: 08 Aug 2011)

Technically they are not wrong. It said they sold to carriers, so they have been sold. Now lets see how the carriers numbers turn out. I did find the 9 million number a little high being that many people said they were waiting for the gold model and there were no pre orders and supply was short. Interesting to see how this plays out.

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