iPhone sales could miss expectations by over 5 million units next quarter

Apple iPhone Shipments

Apple’s (AAPL) doomsday forecast is about as likely as the December 21st Mayan apocalypse prediction, but yet another analyst has lowered his expectations for the company. Christopher Caso of Susquehanna Financial Group claims that Apple has cut its iPhone orders “across a wide range of suppliers” for the March quarter to between 35 million and 40 million. The company was previously expected to see orders of between 40 million and 45 million, according to Barron’s. In light of this new supply chain information, the analyst expects Apple to miss Wall Street’s expectations in either the December quarter or the March quarter, or perhaps in both.

“We conclude that iPhone shipments are likely to miss consensus expectations for [the December quarter or the March quarter or both],” Caso wrote in a research note obtained by Forbes. “Further, our checks indicate further declines on 10-inch iPad production, suggesting that the iPad mini is indeed cannibalizing the larger iPad, also contrary to the view of some others.”

The analyst notes that cannibalization concerns provide no reason to panic, however.

“We don’t think this provides cause to panic, and one can argue that this is already reflected in current stock prices.” he said. “But we don’t think one can argue the recent production cuts are irrelevant — something has indeed changed.”

Caso also said that he does not expect Apple to launch a next-generation iPhone in the near future.

“Since iPhone 5 was launched only a few months ago (and launched only a few days ago in China), we don’t think it’s plausible that AAPL is making room for a new phone so soon after the iPhone 5 launch,” he wrote. “We haven’t seen any signs of a new phone in production either. We did hear some talk about a lower-priced iPhone, which we think could be launched when AAPL refreshes the iPhone 5 (the high screen cost of iPhone 5 could make it difficult to bring that phone into lower price points). But we don’t think a new phone launch explains the recent production cuts.”

Source:
Forbes, Barron's
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