How’d the recession affect Christmas iPhone sales? We won’t know until Apple (AAPL) announces December quarter results later this month — the company didn’t offer an update during its Macworld keynote yesterday — but here’s one bad sign.
Canadian iPhone carrier Rogers says iPhone sales dropped by 50% in Q4 from Q3 despite the holiday shopping season. Specifically, Rogers said about 130,000 iPhone 3Gs were activated in Q4, down from 255,000 iPhones in Q3. This doesn’t directly translate to sales — or Apple’s shipments, which include channel fill — but it should be close.
Canada is obviously a tiny portion of Apple’s business, so it’s a mistake to assume that iPhone sales dropped everywhere. And shipments to fill Walmart’s inventory in the U.S. will almost certainly boost Apple’s December quarter iPhone numbers.
But it’s certainly not good news — Wall Street expects December quarter iPhone shipments to drop an estimated 20% to 30% quarter-over-quarter, not 50%, according to RBC’s Mike Abramsky.
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