They're getting to the point, says an analyst, where Apple could miss Wall Street's targets
Gene Munster's team at Piper Jaffray called 50 Apple stores this week and found a "very limited" supply of iPads. Specifically:
This is no better -- and in some respects, even worse -- than what he found two days after the big iPad 3G launch, when at least one store still had the model in stock. (See here.)
With the international roll-out of the iPad scheduled to begin May 28 -- a week from today -- Munster believes that supply won't catch up to demand until mid to late summer.
He acknowledges that his estimate for the June quarter of 1.3 million iPads is laughably low, given that Apple sold its 1 millionth iPad three weeks ago.
But in the note to clients issued Friday, he raises for the first time the possibility that Apple's (AAPL) inability to meet demand could end up hurting investors. As he puts it:
"While we see upside to our 1.3m iPad estimate in the June quarter and believe in the iPad as a long-term investable theme, we believe near-term Street numbers are getting ahead of Apple's supply."
In other words, Apple's shares could take a hit in July if the company doesn't report the kinds of iPad sales in the June quarter that other analysts have been predicting.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]
After suffering severe product shortages -- and frustrating untold numbers of would-be buyers -- Apple by fits and starts seems to be getting its iPhone 3G supplies in order.
Thanks to a pair of free tools that have emerged to take advantage of Apple's raw data feed of store-by-store availability, we're getting a much better picture of the company's supply and distribution problems than is afforded by the availability widget on MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 24, 2008 8:04 AM ET
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