Apple is selling iPhones as fast as it can make them, but that may not be fast enough
A pair of analyst reports Tuesday warn that Apple (AAPL) may be having trouble feeding the demand for iPhones in advance of the holiday selling season.
In a note entitled "Limited near-term upside for iPhone," Rodman & Renshaw's Ashok Kumar alerted clients that low yields on an unidentified "key component" is likely to constrain production of the iPhone 4S this quarter.
"Layering on the estimated 4 million iPhone 4S that were manufactured (but not shipped) in the September quarter, overall iPhone shipments in the December quarter could come in around 30 million units or below street estimates."
For the record, 30 million units is 3 million more than Kumar's own 27 million estimate, which he described in October as representing a "strong rebound."
Meanwhile, Susquehanna's Jeff Fidacaro cites equally vague "supply constraints" in a report that suggests a 2-3 million reduction in iPhone 4S builds for the quarter. Accordingly, he is reducing his iPhone 4S production estimates from 26-28 million to 23-25 million.
But "store checks suggest that demand remain solid," he writes, and when he throws in the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4, his total iPhone production forecast for the quarter is 29-34 million units.
Considering that Apple sold 16.24 million iPhones in the December quarter last year, that represents somewhere between 79% and 101% growth year over year.
Not too shabby. Which makes you wonder why these notes are being cast as warnings.
Rumors of a slowdown in iPhone 4S sales called "off base." iPad may be a different story
[UPDATE: As several readers pointed out, Apple's share price was also hit Wednesday, along with the rest of the market, by the news out of Europe, and by the end of the day had suffered less than the NASDAQ, which fell 3.88% to Apple's 2.7%. Thursday, however, was a different story. By early afternoon, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 9, 2011 10:56 AM ET
"Channel checks" come under suspicion in a government probe of insider trading
"Wall Street analysts have been left bewildered," writes Susan Pulliam in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, "as federal prosecutors begin to home in on insider-trading cases that appear to involve routinely published information about public-company supply chains."
Case in point: Apple (AAPL), a hot stock with an unusually secretive corporate culture. Today, dozens of analysts and so-called MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 24, 2010 7:58 AM ET
That's one of the claims in an analyst's report that trash talks the entire tablet category.
Rodman & Renshaw's Ashok Kumar has issued a note to clients loaded with nuggets that, if true, would spell bad news for tablet computers.
Supply chain checks that suggest that Apple's (AAPL) monthly iPad production rate is unlikely to exceed 2 million per month by year's end -- considerably less than the 3 million/mos. some had MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 12, 2010 10:24 AM ET
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