Analysts warn: swirling iPhone 5 rumors will hurt Apple’s second-quarter sales

By , May 14, 2012

Remember when Apple announced sales of 17.07 million iPhones during the September quarter of last year? The company was dealing with a rare loss at the time for it had failed to meet analysts’ audacious expectations.

In fact, Tim Cook had gone on the record in a conference call with investor to blame the slowdown on those crazy summertime rumors that had been repeatedly calling for a completely redesigned iPhone for the summer of 2011.

“iPhone sales slowed toward the end of the quarter amid speculation over the debut of a new model”, the CEO said. Well, looks like history could repeat itself.

Some analysts are now concerned that Apple is due for a big come down because swirling iPhone 5 rumors could negatively impact sales of the current-generation iPhone 4S/4 as would-be buyers withhold their planned purchases in anticipation of a new model.

Credit Suisse lowered their expectations yesterday, although they believe Apple will see robust bottom-line growth of 40%/20% in CY12/CY13.

However, in a note issued to clients today, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty warns that Apple’s guidance for the June quarter was weaker than expected. Although Apple’s summer guidance is usually weak due to seasonal refreshes of the iPhone and the Mac lineups, this time around a gap between Apple’s guidance and what analysts had been clamoring for was substantial.

Apple guided for a nine percent lower revenue compared to estimates. Worse, Apple’s earning-per-share projection fell twelve percent below estimates. Typically, Apple guides revenue two percent below estimates and EPS up to ten percent below analyst estimates.

Blame it on those crazy iPhone 5 rumors, says Business Insider:

Apple has only guided this far below expectations once since June 2009, says Huberty, and that was the September quarter of last year when it correctly predicted consumers would buy fewer iPhones as they waited for the next release.

The Cupertino company is scheduled to release calendar 2012 second-quarter results on July 24. As pointed out by Asymco’s Horace Dediu, each new iPhone launch is typically preceded by a quarter where units went down sequentially.

The abundance of rumors pertaining to a sixth-generation iPhone – temporarily referred to by the media as the iPhone 5 – could be a result of Apple not yet finalizing the design and specs of the next iPhone.


Another iPhone 5 concept, courtesy of ADR Design.

If rumor mongers are to be believed, the handset is due for an October release now.

However, the Apple rumor-mill is pretty much unreliable these days.

The ongoing iTV speculation?

Apple buying Loewe to build beautiful television sets?

DigiTimes?

iDB reports on Apple rumors purely for the sake of discussion.

As you know, Apple typically refreshes the iPhone once a year and last time updated the handset on October of last year. Keeping the design intact, Apple opted for incremental hardware tweaks such as a faster A5 chip, an eight-megapixel camera and Siri voice assistant, to name a few.

Some folks are putting their faith in supply chain sources who claimed the iPhone 5 could launch this summer, allegedly at Apple’s annual developers pilgrimage that runs this year in San Francisco between June 11-15.

The common argument is that Apple now needs to refresh the iPhone as soon as possible because its chief rival Samsung just launched the third-generation Galaxy S smartphone.

What’s your call: will the rumor-mill again hurt iPhone sales?

The above Liquidmetal iPhone 5 concept courtesy of  French designer Antoine Brieux.

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  • http://twitter.com/priyanknauni Priyank Nauni

    indeed it would when they will found still iphone 5 looks same as of its predecessor only camera has been increased to 10MP and can do a hand job :P

  • Anonymous

    Well it happens every year so they shouldn’t worry about it and just plan for there large sales when the new iPhone comes out. I really don’t think they are hurting for cash.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1016087499 Ruud Dé Brûíñ

    There’s crony capitalism for ya. “….Performed lower than analysts expected….”. I my real world an expectation is predicting the future with an uncertain outcome. So, what’s the big deal?

  • Anonymous

    After all these years of rumors of up and coming products from apple now the rumors will hurt? Yet Apple has record quarters every time. Yeah ok. These analysts need to get real jobs. Seriously.

  • http://twitter.com/Dongiuj DonGiuj

    Blaming it on rumors? Maybe add the fact that people still don’t have a lot of money and unimployement is still on the increase/people are fed up with apple and every Tom, Dick and Harry has an iPhone/people want a change from apple all together. Could be a number of reasons why this could be happening.
    Yeah, rumors don’t help but the phone isn’t the cheapest and in some people’s eyes it’s not the best for their liking.
    I like my iPhone but if the next one’s not to my liking, I’m getting a different phone. But the true apple fanatics with stay with the iPhone. Let’s hope apple’s fans have increased, for their sake.

  • Falk M.

    Even if so, so what?
    Q3 will be even better then! lol

  • Aaron de Silva

    Imagine iPhone 5 launch at WWDC!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1215314453 Jose Cruz

    I have been a mac fan for the next 8 yrs, but I am getting enough of the apple BS will all the rumors and the lack of letting us ( the consumer ) do whatever we want with our iPhone. We are making apple to become the best company, but what are we getting in return? nothing another device that will be control by apple.
    eventually, people will get tired of apple and move to the competitor which we know who is it… The Android…

  • http://twitter.com/amad_ahmed01 Amad

    When a product or company hits its maximum you are always going to see a slow down in sales unless you can feed the consumers expectations. In apple’s case they need some new technology, otherwise people will move to other phones.

    • http://twitter.com/Dongiuj DonGiuj

      Exactly

  • http://www.facebook.com/michaelleblanc Michael LeBlanc

    I just had a coworker go into verizon over the weekend and get turned away. The associate said just wait till next month until the 5 comes out. I was pretty shocked considering this employee is most likely wrong and they will be waiting until October.