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Strong iPhone 5 Sales Weak iPad Supply Affect Apple’s December Quarter

As we approach the date Apple will announce its holiday quarter sales, Wall Street analysts line up for predicting iPhone sales, which currently generate half of the company's revenue.


The latest report issued by JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz projects a holiday quarter strong with iPhone 5 sales, but -according to their research- near-term supply constraints have put a dent in iPad sales to the end of November.

You ming recall,  Apple struggled to meet the high iPhone 5 demand since the launch of the popular handset. They sought to balance with the demand and supply by mid-November. The iPad 4 and the iPad mini weren't that lucky. While the Wi-Fi only iPads seem to sell well, reports suggest many refrained buyers from purchasing the new generation tablets, because they lacked cellular connectivity, which seemed to be a reasonable explanation given the device's mobility.

The cellular iPad 4 and iPad mini became available in late November, so this must've been what Moskowitz was trying to highlight in his report.

Anyway, Moskowitz first projected sales of 20.1 million iPads in the fourth quarter of 2012, but today he's lowered the estimate to 18.4 million units. "While lighter iPad units could frustrate investors, we believe the miss is explainable," he said. "In our view, it was a supply — not demand — issue."

From Moskowitz's and JP Morgan's perspective, the recent reports concerning the low iPhone 5 demand are coming from people who're making some noise. Although as the Apple stock price have shown, they succeeded in affecting the investor's confidence in their company.

Moskowitz's estimates sales of 47.9 million iPhone units in the December quarter, slightly lower than the Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt's forecast, which expected Apple to report 48 million.

"In our view, many investors have been locking in gains on Apple and reducing the relative weighting of the stock in their funds because it was difficult to defend a stock where gross margin declines were expected in the coming year," he wrote. "This overhang stands to subside faster than expected, in our view, if component order cuts related to iPhone 5 imply manufacturing yields and thereby gross margins are on the rebound."

[Via AppleInsider]

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