Apple is down 1.6% this morning in pre-market trading.
The drop seems to be due to a report from China’s 21st Century Business Herald that says the iPhone 6 won’t be in China until 2015. Street Insider picked up on the 21st Century Business Herald story.
Apple has not said when the iPhone will be in China. Street Insider says, “there was a brief post that the devices would be available on September 26th. That has since been removed from Apple’s website.”
If the iPhone 6 isn’t in China until next year, it could impact sales for the holiday quarter, which is why the stock is down.
However, in a weird way, it could be ok for Apple since it would smooth out the sales cycle. Lately, Apple’s sales are loaded in the holiday quarter, then get progressively smaller through the year.
If the iPhone 6 started in China in January or February, it would add another monster quarter for Apple’s earnings.
A delay would also help Apple if it has trouble making the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus already seems to be in short supply. So, if Apple immediately started selling it in China, then it would add more strain to the manufacturing line, which doesn’t really help Apple.
At the very least, this shouldn’t impact iPhone sales overall. If Chinese consumers want an iPhone, they are generally going to wait for the new model. They aren’t going to suddenly scramble for and Android phone.
Of course, all of this is based on the assumption that the 21st Century Business Herald is right. And we don’t know if it is or is not.