Is Apple anticipating a massive drop in iPhone sales? We don’t think so.
According to Digitimes, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News “quotes sources at Apple’s handset component suppliers in Taiwan as indicating” that Apple has slashed its March quarter iPhone shipment estimates from 2 million units to between 1 million and 1.2 million units. (Via Wired.)
The problem with this report: Apple has likely sold almost half a million phones this month alone, and has another two months to go before the quarter wraps up at the end of March.
During Steve Jobs’ Macworld keynote on Jan. 15, the Apple boss said his company had sold 4 million iPhones. Through the end of 2007, Apple had sold 3.7 million phones. So the company sold 300,000 phones in the first 14 days of 2008. That’s a rate of about 20,000 a day, which would let Apple sell 1.8 million phones by the end of the quarter.
During Motorola’s earnings call yesterday, CEO Greg Brown said mobile industry sales typically decline 10% to 15% from Q4 to Q1. Last year, Nokia’s unit sales dropped 13.6% from the Dec. to Mar. quarters. The 20,000-a-day rate that Apple has been on this month already represents a 22% drop from the last quarter.
Could it go lower? We guess. But the drop that the Chinese paper is talking about — going from 2.3 million iPhones sold in the last quarter to 1.2 million in the current quarter — would be a 48% decline. And bear in mind that European sales, while lower than expected, didn’t exist for half of last quarter, because the iPhone wasn’t available in Europe until mid-to-late November. We could see iPhone sales declining this quarter. But we don’t see them falling off a cliff.
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