Seeking Alpha

Weekend action sobers up analysts' view of iPhone sales

  • Weekend sales of the iPhone were probably close to the bottom of the 5M-6M range he expected, says Piper's Gene Munster. About 95% of those waiting in line were there for the 5S, says Munster, with about 90% upgrading from an older version (83% were upgrading when the 5 was launched, 73% for the 4).
  • At least one analyst had expected weekend sales of 7.75M, according to Bloomberg.
  • BMO's Keith Bachman hit the malls to find longer lines than last year's iPhone 5 launch, but writes this off as having to do with no pre-orders for the 5S. 5C sales look like a disappointment even to his already-muted expectations for that unit. The gold 5S is a hit, but little supply exists, with one visited store running out in the first 30 minutes.
  • The iPhone 5 sold 6M units over its first 10 days last year - a number Bachman doesn't think Apple will be able to match with this year's launch thanks to the lack of enthusiasm for the 5C and fewer selling days until a press release. He sees downside risk to his September quarter estimate of 31M units sold.
  • Earlier: Fingerprint scanner hacked.
  • AAPL -0.6% premarket.
Comments (44)
  • $390 here we come again!!
    23 Sep 2013, 08:09 AM Reply Like
  • Sorry papa"........... 9m sold! $600 here we come again.
    23 Sep 2013, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • 390 up from 390? Looks like it
    23 Sep 2013, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • not only did Apple sell over 9 million in just three days but they could have sold a lot more if they were in stock. I went to the mall on Sat and they were sold out. That's not the surprising part. They also would even take my name for a waiting list and just said to come back later.
    23 Sep 2013, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • How come chochop isn't here? :-)
    23 Sep 2013, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • I know who listens to Wall Street analysts because they always complain about losing their invested money!!!!! Sheep are sooo easy to shear.
    23 Sep 2013, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • "About 95% of those waiting in line were there for the 5S"


    Kind of figures when you take into account you wouldn't have needed to line up for a 5C.
    23 Sep 2013, 08:10 AM Reply Like
  • Kind of blows holes in the AAPL needs a cheaper iPhone huh? The analysts say they need a cheaper phone or the stock will plummet. The analysts say a cheaper phone will cannibalize margin, stock drops. AAPL announces phone that is not cheaper, maintains margin, maintains high level of quality with more options, stock drops.


    AAPL sells a record number of phones ...
    23 Sep 2013, 09:09 AM Reply Like
  • As expected AAPL is cannibalizing itself with it's own gimmickry.


    Who did not know this was inevitable...??


    Folks just ain't got money, PEOPLE...!!


    Cook, et al., can look to Ichan for some pointers..!!
    23 Sep 2013, 08:14 AM Reply Like
  • The Power of Understanding…
    Is this the way you and your people talk to clients...??
    23 Sep 2013, 08:34 AM Reply Like
  • Stan.... On the wrong side on this one......sorry about that but was a no-brainier. Do some research.
    23 Sep 2013, 08:39 AM Reply Like
  • Wrong again Stan.
    23 Sep 2013, 09:07 AM Reply Like
  • Dear Stanley:


    I'm not sure what you are trying to say there.


    But folks in Cn have enough money for what is important to them and IPhones, IPads flood the streets of Shanghai and Beijing.


    The prices of older model IPhones are 4k RMB > US$600 and the newest IPhone 5.3k RMB. China doesn't even have a usable LTE yet and someone else wrote that they use 2.5g here as the 3g isn't reliable. So some people are paying the full price for that premium.


    disclosure, I use an under $100 Nokia C2
    23 Sep 2013, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • Ha 9 million. So when will Wall Street stop listening to Gene Munster and start listening to me?



    These guys throw numbers out as if they know what they're talking about. It's ridiculous.
    23 Sep 2013, 08:34 AM Reply Like
  • 9 million... whoops.
    23 Sep 2013, 08:37 AM Reply Like
  • Nice call Boza 9M sales
    23 Sep 2013, 08:40 AM Reply Like
  • With China and Japan, $9 million is not a surprise, at least not in my mind. However, the subsequent iPhone sales will be much more challenging.
    23 Sep 2013, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • Units, buddy. Units.
    23 Sep 2013, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • think about what you just wrote. essentially, your argument is that Apple only sold more phones because they managed to sell to more people.


    well, that's how you grow business. every other year they managed to sell more phones because they grew their accessible user base. this is no different and can't reasonably be construed as a negative.


    also, China was the only brand-new large country. so if you factor in the 5,000,000 1st weekend sales from last year and the 2 million in China you get 7 million initial weekend sales last year. even if you 7 million as a base that's still a 29% growth rate! pretty impressive for an enterprise this large!


    and do you really think that with 9 million phones they exhausted the market for these products? there are a lot more than 9 million people in the world.


    and again getting a product in front of more customers is a good thing not a bad thing.
    23 Sep 2013, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • "AAPL is cannibalizing itself" ---- I think you better look at who Apple is cannibalizing a little closer (i.e., Blackberry, Android, MS)
    23 Sep 2013, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • Gene Munster eat that 9M Sales in 3 days,
    where do you get your numbers, ah I got it you close your eyes and come up with it. Moron
    23 Sep 2013, 08:48 AM Reply Like
  • it is amazing to really consider how unscientific these numbers are. 5,000,000weekend sales last year without China. Munster's estimate implied that adding China would add no phones to the total.


    and if he wants to reply that supply constraints made him lower the estimate, well then it seems to me that Apple would've never approved a design if they knew they couldn't manufacture enough to beat last years numbers.


    here's the bottom line if you want to predict initial sales The first thing you have to look at is the size of the installed user base.


    that's about 600 or 700 million (per iTunes account data) A regular Gaussian distribution will tell you that about 2 1/2% of the people are early adopters.


    even assuming no switch overs from other platforms or first-time smartphone buyers that leaves you with a pool of 15,000,000 to 17 1/2 million potential early adopters. now it's just a question of supply and distribution.


    thinking about it this way 9 million is in the ballpark in fact it represents serving a little over half to 60% of the early adopter population. which also explains the shortages.
    23 Sep 2013, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • Analyst spin, after learning that Apple sold 9 million iPhones..."Everyone who wanted an iPhone got one last weekend, so looking forward we're lowering our estimates of future sales and cutting our target price to $250."
    23 Sep 2013, 08:55 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks, I needed that chuckle. Sadly I feel you're right.
    23 Sep 2013, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • Hahaha. You made my day.
    23 Sep 2013, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • This is worse than Republican vs Democrat. The spin is pathetic. Facts speak for themselves and thus far, AAPL is the most successful and customer-centric company in the world, by far. Their ability to innovate, grow, and monetize is unparalleled. FACTS ARE FRIENDLY.
    23 Sep 2013, 09:07 AM Reply Like
  • Now wait for the red faced analysts that downgraded AAPL a week or so ago have to up their numbers.... or .... put their spin on how they saw this coming and they are sticking with their forecasts... What parent is not going to upgrade their kids iphone 4 or 4s to a 5C (or 5S if they have the bucks) this holiday season.. As soon as their friends start showing up at school with colored Iphones.. there will be a stampede... Android & MS who?
    23 Sep 2013, 09:13 AM Reply Like
  • That begins today! Excellent point chip.
    23 Sep 2013, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • How many IOS7 users are going to drop Pandora? Think millions.
    23 Sep 2013, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • This is one of those days when I'm reminded just how bad Wall St analysis is.
    23 Sep 2013, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • Why do you post these worthless commentaries. Apple has already sold NINE MILLION 5S Phones.
    23 Sep 2013, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • Gold 5S was not to be found. When they are available, they will be sold.
    23 Sep 2013, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • These analysts should have to publicly eat hard copies of their words.
    23 Sep 2013, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • lol - mr munster -- didn't he used to be biggest aapl perma bull. now maybe has become great contrarian indicator. woops.
    23 Sep 2013, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • No thank you
    23 Sep 2013, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • I guess you got it wrong....
    23 Sep 2013, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • Co author with David Trainer. "How to make a million in the stock market." Start with 2 million.
    23 Sep 2013, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • Just Watched Gene Munster put his spin on why he blew it (again!). These guys are never wrong... they are just not right?
    23 Sep 2013, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • Munster better start worrying about his job... I think his shirt collar is getting a little tight these days.
    23 Sep 2013, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • You say 5-6MM sold? Was that for day one?


    I follow Apple on SA as many people do. Generally SA has better believable statistical writers than what you have provided.
    9MM iPhones actually sold across a 3 day weekend and blows away high end (by reliable resources).


    As a bean counter you are not very accurate. Perhaps you are one of those who guesses how many "iPhone beans" there are in a gallon jar and extrapolates from there. I guess your jar was a quart jar rather a gallon jar. Maybe that explains your numbers?


    I find it hard to follow your advice for anything related to stock buy, sell or hold.


    23 Sep 2013, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • Thank God I am a firm believer in Apple and not a fan of analysts. If you use the product over the years you know how superior it is over the competition. This makes a believer in the product and the company.


    Not so hard to prognosticate with this information.


    23 Sep 2013, 02:07 PM Reply Like
  • "Weekend sales of the iPhone were probably close to the bottom of the 5M-6M range he expected, says Piper's Gene Munster"


    Reality slapped that with a NINE million total.
    23 Sep 2013, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • Until about a year ago I did not own an Apple product.. I worked for IBM for over 30 years so I could not even spell Apple. Now I own 2 iphones, an Ipad and a Macbook Air.. Never going back.


    Forget MS, has a Samsung phone (toast now). Apple just works. period.


    People saying that iphone 5c is too expensive.... I think lots of people will defect from the "free" or cheap Androids over the coming months for the 5c. Thoughts?
    23 Sep 2013, 04:02 PM Reply Like
  • So, what do we all learn from Munster's giant fiasco ?


    If Alpha continues to run his propaganda, I and plenty of others will cancel Alpha subscriptions.


    I have followed the dictum: "believe but verify". Now we have verification that Munster is talking through his hat.


    Fortunately, I bought a few shares aapl every day last week. But, the ANALYSTS at Alpha kept me from buying heavily because of their "expertise".


    So much for trusting others more than myself !
    23 Sep 2013, 08:38 PM Reply Like
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