Analysts from Wall Street are expecting that Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) will sell about 43 to 53 million iPhones in the December quarter. However, others are predicting a figure of 50 million. Apple announced last Friday that the iPhone 5 will be available in
China from the 2nd week
of December, which should boost their sales.
Apple had previously stated that they plan to roll out iPhone 5 to at least 100 countries by the end of the year, but the press release last Friday shows that their latest offering is only available in 47 countries as of now. The lower than expected number of countries has a positive side as well – the demand is huge and the company might have delayed
availability in case the manufacturing issues are graver.
The main factor to be considered is the lesser than expected roll out. The reasons are supply constraints, higher than expected demand, or possibly, a combination of the two problems. But manufacturing issues have been more or less been resolved and the demand is quite strong. Apple’s web sites are now displaying lead times of one week for the countries mentioned and except US, all countries have a limit of 2 phones per order.
The quarter over quarter (September to December) growth rates for Apple (117% last year and 86% this year), AT&T (181% last year and 113% this year) and Verizon’s (115% last year and 110% this year) are all lower. The jump in units quarter over quarter for Apple is not much higher in 2012 than it was for 2011 (19.9 million in 2011 and 23.1 million in 2012), AT&T (4.9 million going to 5.3 million) and Verizon (2.3 million to 3.4 million).
As long as suppliers can match the demand, Apple should have no trouble selling 50 million iPhones in the December quarter.