FORTUNE -- Most Asian journalists covering Pegatron's investor conference Wednesday focused on the fact that the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer's first quarter profits were up more than 80% year over year.
The theme of Thursday's second-day headlines in the U.S. was that Pegatron is on a hiring spree, boosting its workforce 40% and anticipating that communications products would drive revenue increases in the second half of 2013 -- all of which somehow fueled speculation that the company might be building a lower-cost iPhone for Apple (AAPL).
Focusing on the fact that after growing 162% year over year in Q1 Pegatron's revenues from consumer electronics were expected to fall 25% to 30% sequentially in Q2, he set out to pin the blame on the iPad mini.
His headline: Falling IPad Mini Demand to Push Pegatron Electronics Sales Down
His lead: "Pegatron Corp., the Taipei-based maker of Apple Inc. devices, forecast its biggest drop in consumer-electronics revenue in six quarters as iPad Mini demand falls." (emphasis mine)
His killer quote: "A decline in revenue from the iPad Mini 'is more on demand, while price has been stable,' Pegatron Chief Executive Officer Jason Cheng said."
Now it could well be that after rising 65% year over year last quarter, demand for one or more iPad products might be slowing.
But two things about that quote immediately raised suspicions.
First, the phrase about a decline in iPad mini revenue is not in quotation marks, suggesting that it came from the reporter, not the source.
Second, have you ever known an Apple supplier to say anything on the record about demand for any of Apple's products? Not if he or she wants to keep doing business with Tim Cook.
To get to the bottom of the story, I asked Pegatron CEO Jason Cheng by e-mail about that quote. Here's what he said:
"We held our Institutional Investors Conference yesterday, and gave out a guidance of our 2Q13 business outlook... The category of Consumer Electronic Product includes game consoles, LCD-TV, e-paper readers, tablet products, and some others. We put all tablet products in this category, but have never broken down to detail numbers for specific products nor customers.
"After the meeting, one reporter from Bloomberg approached me, trying to dig out detail numbers about some specific product. I clearly refused to comment on specific products, nor customers, even though he continued with other questions. I did say those words that he quotes me in the article "more on demand, while price has been stable"…, "almost every item is moving in a negative direction"…; "Not just tablets, also e-books and games consoles". But I did not say anything associated with any specific products.
"'No indication, nor hint for specific products or customers' has been our principle and guideline for any public events such as investors conference. There are always speculations after these meetings.
"Thank you for the mail to clarify."
I've asked Bloomberg's Tim Culpan and his editor for their comment. No reply yet.
The Apple faithful are getting restless for new products.
By Kurt Wagner, reporter
FORTUNE -- As if a plunging stock price, slowing earnings growth, and customer-service woes in China weren't enough, Apple hasn't released a new product since October, when it released the iPad Mini. In three of the past four years, Apple has held a signature new-product event in March, but not this year. Were the company to wait until MOREApr 2, 2013 7:23 AM ET
The analysts' forecasts range from 17 million to 32 million. Median estimate: 24 million
FORTUNE (Vang Vieng, Laos) -- Sales of Apple's (AAPL) iPad grew from zero to 7.3 million units in 2010 and doubled in 2011 to 15.4 million.
According to our most bullish independent analysts, they doubled again in calendar 2012.
According to the most bearish professional -- Argus Research's Jim Kelleher -- they grew (once you factor out 2011's extra MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 11, 2013 6:39 PM ET
A heist, a lawsuit, a liar, a passel of new products and a $75 million payout forgone
FORTUNE -- There was no shortage of big Apple (AAPL) news in 2012, from a billion-dollar jury verdict to a three-month bear market that lopped $260 billion off the company's market cap. But of the 814 items filed in this space over the past 12 months, these were the 10 that -- for good or ill -- interested MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 30, 2012 7:13 AM ET
A new Morgan Stanley survey suggests there is still room to grow
FORTUNE -- "Despite concerns to the contrary," writes Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty reporting the results of a proprietary survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, "iPhone and iPad demand remain strong. C4Q US iPhone purchase intentions beat our forecast. Stable 50% iPad share also surprised us, despite our modeled drop next year."
Among the key findings:
Strong iPhone 5 demand. Survey suggested 33% MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 17, 2012 12:15 PM ET
Meanwhile, 44% of tablet shoppers plan to buy an iPad versus 24% for Kindle Fire
FORTUNE -- Consumer preferences in one of this holiday's hottest categories -- tablet computers -- shifted pretty dramatically between the third and fourth quarters, according to a new survey of U.S. households with broadband access published Thursday by Parks Associates.
Among its findings:
For the first time, more U.S. broadband households plan to purchase a tablet for the holidays MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 13, 2012 5:10 PM ET
Calls Apple's iPad mini the "must have gift" of the year
FORTUNE -- "The iPad mini is a game changer," writes Millennial Media's Matt Gillis in a blog post Monday.
"Every holiday season there seems to be one particular item that stands out as the 'must have gift' of the year," he writes, "and in 2012, early figures lead us to believe that this could be the iPad Mini. Truth be told, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 10, 2012 12:34 PM ET
No lines, no scalpers, no unruly crowds
FORTUNE -- If it wants excitement at its Chinese launch events, Apple (AAPL) may need to rethink the reservation-only system it put in place last January after a dangerous mob forced it to halt sales of the iPhone 4S in Beijing before they began.
IDG News' Michael Kan reports that turnout for the iPad mini that arrived in mainland China Friday was "nearly nonexistent." There wasn't MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 7, 2012 6:12 AM ET
Events are coming to a head for Apple on the eve of Pearl Harbor Day
FORTUNE -- There's going to be a lot Apple (AAPL) news to digest this Thursday, Dec. 6.
In fact, it could be an Apple three-ring circus staged in three cities on two continents:
San Jose, Calif. -- Attorneys for Apple and Samsung will clash once again in Judge Lucy Koh's San Jose courthouse in a hearing that will MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 3, 2012 8:19 AM ET
There's good news and bad in Apple's Friday press release
FORTUNE -- There was mixed reaction on Wall Street to Apple's (AAPL) announcement about which new products are headed to China and when they might get there.
The key paragraph (with irritating trademark symbols stripped out):
The Wi-Fi versions of iPad mini and fourth generation iPad with Retina display will be available in China on Friday, December 7, and iPhone 5 will be MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 30, 2012 11:37 AM ET
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