Analysts disagree about Apple iPhone sales figures
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
1. Topcat488 (Posts: 1222; 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.
23. THE.DARK.KNIGHT (banned) (Posts: 269; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)
Don't listen to anal-ysts.
33. darkkjedii (Posts: 15135; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
The Sammites hope this is true. Apple sold 9 million dude. That's that. Awesome phone BTW...
50. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 2650; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)
You are aware the Galaxy S III sold 9M on pre-order too when it was first announced...right?
60. Sauce (unregistered)
They are all in D E N I A L
64. johnbftl (Posts: 264; 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.
58. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Except when they validate your position, eh? Then they are 'eXperts'....
65. glentomas123 (Posts: 70; Member since: 01 Jun 2011)
Maybe you should have listened to the report before commenting.
13. android_hitman (unregistered)
where is that apple fanboy?
43. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
3 of the shameless ones are here...
17. msa1988 (Posts: 417; 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.
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.
24. Finalflash (Posts: 2134; 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.
51. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 2650; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)
All you said was right except one thing, smaller chips cost more to make vs bigger ones.
26. ScottSchneider (Posts: 324; 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...
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!
2. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3492; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)
Hahaha..What a iShame!!! Fooling around to iPhone users.
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?
5. x7black7x (Posts: 118; Member since: 19 Feb 2012)
hahahh now apple are being sarcastic!!! :P
6. Sniggly (Posts: 7280; 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.
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.
25. Finalflash (Posts: 2134; 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.
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.
15. -box- (Posts: 3967; 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.
22. Pdubb (Posts: 239; 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.
36. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
To a point. If carriers aren't selling the phones they purchased, then over this quarter and the next, they won't be purchasing replacement units. If this is true, in the end it's not good for Apple sales.
Opening day sales are great if you break records but if your annual sales are lower, records don't mean much.
61. SellPhones82 (Posts: 569; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
The carriers are in an agreement to buy "X" amount of iPhones from Apple over a period of time. For Sprint that deal was 30.5 Million iPhones over 4 years (deal set in 2011 for $20 Billion) so these were technically sold to the carrier 2 years ago and that money would have already been factored into previous quarters. Can't seem to find any details on the t-mobile and apple deal for some reason, my bet is Apple didn't want everyone to know how much their asking price had dropped in a year.
Carriers don't order or buy phones from Apple like they do other OEMs. Apple tells them they will offer the phone on their network as long as they agree to move a certain amount of phones which the carrier pays for regardless if they sell them or not. Again this is why these numbers are artificial.
7. Taters (Posts: 4624; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Well I walked into an Apple store to buy one to craigslist and buy one for the company I work for like at 2pm on launch day. No chance I would be able to do that on the launch days of the iPhone 4, 4s, and 5.
I thought those numbers looked fishy especially when the shipping dates didn't get pushed back until a few days after launch. While iPhone 5 sold out online in minutes.
The writing is on the wall. Apple is slowly but surely going lose more and more of their market.
8. amiaq (Posts: 503; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)
Wow, as I said, now they are counting numbers of iphone SHIPPED not SOLD!
54. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 2650; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)
But if they are shipped, they are sold. Sold to a customer. Carriers are Apple customers too. Carriers do a deal directly with Apple. When a carrier makes an order, they much pay for that order, thus it is a sale. It is up to the carrier or retailer to sale their paid for stock to recoup there money. Which is why most retailers sale the phone for the exact same price as Apple does do they get back 100% of their money and then some. While carriers will subsidize the cost in 1/2, to get you to sign a contract and get their money via data plans and accessories.
10. Nayabandaa (Posts: 29; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)
Well yo be honest, for once. I had actually believed those figures, so it's kinda shameful if they do manipulate things to such extent. No company shall do such things because in one way or other, it is same as corruption.
11. Nayabandaa (Posts: 29; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)
Apologies for grammar and spell mistakes.
12. salaman2122 (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)
I can 100% agree. I work for Verizon in the Seattle metro area. We have 75 plus Iphone 5c's in our inventory room just sitting there. After launch weekend which wasnt very impressive, not many people seem that interested. A few preorders for the 5s but that's it. The 9 million is way off if my store is any reflection of Iphone sales.
29. blingblingthing (Posts: 501; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)
This does make sense. If any believes this was sold to consumers, just how many were shipped? 12 to 15 million?
39. wumberpeb (Posts: 452; Member since: 14 Mar 2011)
I agree 100%.
I'm at a Sprint retailer in upstate ny that usually pushes around 200 phones per month, close to 300 for the holidays. Unfortunately, we were only given 3 5S and about 20 5C. The 5S sold out in a couple of hours, but we only sold one of the 5C all day. As of Tuesday, we still had 15 left... friends working at an AT&T store in the same mall paralleled our sales figures.
Between the preproduction problems and overall underwhelming excitement for this product launch, there's no way they sold a record number of these.
Fuzzy numbers, indeed.
14. Bozzor (Posts: 156; Member since: 02 May 2012)
No, this is wrong: Apples numbers are absolutely correct for sold, not shipped: remember that the iPhone 5s and 5c launched in China also this time round in addition to other markets, so the 9 million number is pretty much correct for phones that walked out the door in the hands of happy customers.
16. -box- (Posts: 3967; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Baloney. The Chinese market was already open to prior iphones and it is highly unlikely that the new models sold more than a few hundred thousand in its country of origin. There are much better and desirable phones already available, why would they settle an overpriced inferior product, especially one that has led so many of their fellow citizens to suicide?
20. Bozzor (Posts: 156; Member since: 02 May 2012)
This sin the first time the iPhone launched in the PRC the same time as the other 'first to launch' nations.
There are phones that may be more 'specced'. but the iPhone still has a devoted legion in China. The iPhone is simply a total package that still cannot be matched.
And also, Apples press release is clear: "sold" is the word, not shipped.
62. theaztech (unregistered)
"a total package that still cannot be matched"
You are correct sir,
Most phones cant scoop down so low.
You guys dont even have an hd screen.
28. amiaq (Posts: 503; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)
Liar Liar... iphone on fire, lets kick ifan on the rear
30. Akfred (banned) (Posts: 76; Member since: 08 Nov 2012)
I was wondering who and who that bought the new iphone
,cos here in Africa apple iPhone hardly see the light of the
Day. Apple just to match the competition they now had to
Lie about sale figure. I tire ooo
34. protozeloz (Posts: 5387; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
Mm it was weird not to see reports of huge iPhone lines or huge delay in orders despite having (from the start) a lower inventory of certain devices... But to think apple would lie about its sales figures just to raise some stock, wow that's quite the shock
37. Ninetysix (Posts: 1877; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)
38. protozeloz (Posts: 5387; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
Thanks!! honestly don't know why no one on PA posted about this.... I mean I was expecting this huge lines and twitter rage about the lack of X idevice.....
now its hard to tell the truth... maybe its in the middle of both worlds?
66. glentomas123 (Posts: 70; Member since: 01 Jun 2011)
Sure doesn't look like 9 million in line!
35. artealis (Posts: 98; Member since: 15 Dec 2010)
dont forget your new ipon is waterproof.
and your old ipon can be waterproof after update to ios7
the nine million bs
40. tryingHARD (Posts: 64; Member since: 31 Dec 2012)
Still waiting for my space grey. My s4 sucks! Got suspended because i missed calls of my boss because my s4 lags like sheet! I maybe the 10millionth buyer.
46. procopiojose (Posts: 132; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
don't pretend to have an s4.. iDiot...
49. Doakie (Posts: 1632; Member since: 06 May 2009)
Seems like you should ask your boss for a work phone so he stops calling you on your personal phone. If your job depends on them being able to contact you they should provide you with a work only phone. If your S4 is a work phone you need to get it serviced or you shouldn't be installing all the games and crap that bog it down. Out of the box a S4 runs like a champ. I suspect lies.
41. gamblor77 (Posts: 103; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
I thought it was pretty dirty of the author to try go discredit Peter Misek with that dig about the bad BlackBerry call. People make mistakes and sometimes have to take chances in stocks. It doesn't mean the guy is fabricating poor sales numbers for Apple. Just seems like reality is not setting in about Apple actually losing market share and they are. I really feel within a month Apple sales will drop off a cliff once the dust settles and the 4s people get their fix after skipping the minor upgrade to the 5.
45. procopiojose (Posts: 132; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
stupid iPhone.. the only new feature is finger print scanner.. what do you send using a phone? launch code for nuclear weapons? iOS 7 is sooo lame and has the Hanna Montana feel to it..