Analysts have been piling on Apple recently. Every major analyst on Wall Street now thinks iPhone sales declined in December versus a year ago, and most of them think the trend will continue this quarter, and perhaps through the end of the year.
iPhone sales have never declined before on a year-to-year basis, and that product makes up the bulk of Apple’s revenues and profits, so a decline is bad news. The stock is already down about 8% this year, and almost 20% since the beginning of December, on these fears.
But at least one analyst thinks that the tide will turn later this year.
Morgan Stanley, which kicked off the alarm about declining iPhone sales in December, just put out a note entitled “March Weak But June Outlook Better,” predicting that the bottom will hit this quarter.
The relevant bit:
Initial indications are for better than normal seasonality in the June quarter which suggests estimates and sentiment may be bottoming.
In plain English, the firm expects a bigger uptick than usual in spring buying, driven in part by the anticipated release of a 4-inch iPhone in April. Morgan Stanley believes this new model, which could be called the iPhone 5e, could add 15 million new units to Apple’s total by the end of its fiscal year in September.
Apple will reportedly announce the new iPhone at an event in March, and it will be the same size as the original iPhone and all models up until 2014, when Apple increased the screen size to compete with Samsung’s large-screened Galaxy phones.
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