Not surprisingly, yesterday’s JP Morgan report that Apple had suddenly cut Q4 iPad orders by 25% has prompted other Wall Street analysts to frantically respond.
Bloomberg has a good round-up.
JP Morgan’s own Apple analyst, for example, Mark Moskowitz, who says “Apple is fine.”
(The report was published by JP Morgan’s Asia analyst, who based the conclusion on research done on Apple’s supply-chain partners.)
Gene Munster thinks Apple is just moving some production to Brazil.
Barclays also rejected the report, suggesting that the cuts might be for components, not iPads:
“We disagree with any talk of a shipment slowdown,” analysts at Barclays Capital wrote in a report. “The numbers being circulated Monday might be related to components and not to actual iPad 2 shipments, in our view. Components checks (are) not a good proxy for actual iPad product shipments.”
Susquehanna analyst Chris Caso dismissed the call as “misleading,” and said the orders had been “pulled-in,” not cancelled–meaning that Apple actually moved the production into the third quarter to be sure to be able to keep up with holiday demand. (This is perhaps the most bullish interpretation of all).
But FBR’s Craig Berger came rushing to JP Morgan’s defence, saying he’s hearing exactly the same thing:
Craig Berger, with FBR Capital Markets in New York, wrote a report saying his view was “largely consistent” with the research from JPMorgan’s Asia team on cuts to orders from Apple to iPad suppliers. The cut to fourth-quarter iPad production may reflect Apple being more cautious on overall global demand given recent market turbulence, and discounting some iPad growth in China, he wrote.
“For the iPad, 3Q11 builds were cut by 5%, while 4Q11 production estimates were cut by 24%, an incremental negative for Apple related supply chain participants,” Berger wrote.
IPad builds were cut by 24 per cent in the fourth quarter from 17 million to 13 million, as iPad 2 WiFi builds were revised lower, and as ‘iPad 2 Plus’ production was removed from the forecast due to “display manufacturing challenges,” Berger wrote.
So there you have it.
For what it’s worth, barring further startling stories out of Asia, I suspect the world’s attention will now focus almost exclusively on the iPhone 5 launch next month.
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