Today’s Rorschach test on Apple comes from the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal reports Apple is telling suppliers it is cutting its estimate for iPhone 5C shipments in the fourth quarter. In the same story, it reports Apple is increasing orders for the iPhone 5S.
So, is this good news, or is it bad news? Is Apple doomed, or is Apple about to print (even more) cash?
Again, this is a Rorschach test, so how you interpret the news is up to you…
For us, this sounds more like good news than bad for Apple.
The iPhone 5S is the premium phone. Strong demand for a premium phone when the high-end of the smart phone market is supposed to be saturated is good news.
As for the 5C, we don’t know how many iPhone 5Cs Apple already produced. It may be cutting 5C orders because it was easier to make the 5C than anticipated.
Or, perhaps, no one is buying the 5C.
Does that matter, though? The 5C fills the slot of the 4S in last year’s line up. It just has to beat the 4S, which shouldn’t be too tough.
Further, if demand really is weak for the 5C, Apple can always cut the price and try to pump up sales volumes. It’s easier to cut prices than raise them.
Apple reports earnings in a week and a half, and you can bet analysts are going to try their best to get an answer on the 5C versus 5S sales question. It’s unlikely Apple will reveal much, but we’ll be listening carefully for a more definitive answer.
(Oh, and while we’re here, talking iPhone, isn’t weird that Apple hasn’t advertised the iPhone 5S once, yet? It’s been all about the 5C, and yet, the 5S is the killer.)