Printed circuit board (PCB) suppliers in Taiwan have noticed “disappointing orders” for iPhone and iPad hardware, according to DigiTimes. As a result, the suppliers have cut quotes by 10% on average for the second quarter, noting that there’s no sign of a rebound. The drop in iPhone hardware orders suggests that Apple’s highly anticipated next-generation iPhone is imminent; it’s largely expected that the company will take the wraps off of the device in September. The PCB suppliers that are cutting hardware sales expectations include Compeq Manufacturing, Nan Ya PCB, Tripod Technology and Unimicron Technology. More →
Sales of Apple’s Mac line of personal computers slowed in April, leaving a question mark for analysts who have lofty expectations of Apple computers in the June quarter. Industry tracker NPD Group on Monday issued its estimates for Mac sales in the month of April. While the firm found that sales did grow compared to the same month last year, growth has slowed substantially. NPD says Apple shipped 9% more Mac computers in April 2011 than it did in the same month last year, but analysts are expecting shipments for the full quarter to jump 22% over 2010 to 4.2 million units. The decrease in growth is attributed to the fact that Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro line in the middle of April last year, but analysts obviously accounted for that when issuing estimates for Apple’s fiscal third quarter.
Market research firm NPD Group this week revealed the findings of its recent report entitled, Apple iPad Owner Study II. Among the interesting findings contained within NPD’s research is the revelation that the iPad isn’t responsible for the current decline in the traditional consumer PC market — at least, not according to NPD and its respondents. Research firm IDC estimates that the PC market dipped by over 10% in the U.S. last quarter, and 3.2% globally. In reporting its estimates, IDC said that these declines were due to factors other than the rising popularity of the iPad and other “media tablets.” NPD Group’s new report jibes with that sentiment, as the firm claims that only 14% of early iPad adopters decided against purchasing a traditional PC as a result of their tablet purchases. “The explosion of computer sales when Windows 7 launched, as well as the huge increase in netbook sales at that time, are much more to blame for weak consumer PC sales growth than the iPad,” said Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis at NPD, in a statement. “Overall it appears that the vast majority of iPad purchases to-date have been incremental to the consumer technology industry.” Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Smartphones’ share of the global cell phone market is poised to explode over the next four years, according to market research firm Pyramid Research. The firm on Friday released the findings of its latest Smartphone Forecast, as compiled by Senior Analyst and Practice Leader for Mobile Devices, Stela Bokun. Bokun determined that global smartphone sell-through — or, the number of smartphones sold to end users — will total 1.46 billion units in 2011, accounting for 27% of all cell phones sold. Pyramid expects that figure to nearly double to 53% in 2015, driven by growing demand for affordable Android smartphones. “Much of the projected total market growth in 2011 will come from the Africa and Middle East (AME) region, which will see a strong demand for low-end smartphone models, ultra low-cost handsets and dual-SIM and full touch-screen feature phones,” Bokun noted in a statement. ”The main drivers of the demand in the developed markets will be the launches of a number of flagship high-end devices and new features and technologies. However, inexpensive smartphone models, particularly those from Huawei and ZTE, also will be in high demand in some of the richest Western European, Asian and North American markets.” Finally, Bokun notes that while smartphone sales will be driven in large part by Android over the next four years, Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform will overtake Android and other operating systems to become the top-selling smartphone platform in the world in 2015.
In a note to investors on Wednesday, RBC Capital Markets General Manager Mike Abramsky suggested that sales of RIM’s new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet may be exceeding the company’s initial expectations. According to Abramsky, RIM may have increased the number of tablets on order from its manufacturing partners by as much as 100% to between 1.2 and 1.5 million units for the second quarter of 2011. The note cites strong sales estimates as one possible cause, and also states that the launch of 4G-enabled versions of the PlayBook may have been pushed up to June — another possible cause for the ramp up. Despite the possible increase in orders, RBC maintains its earlier sales projections of 500,000 PlayBook tablets in RIM’s May quarter and 4 million units total in 2011.
Wall Street analysts are beginning to reevaluate their yearly iPad forecasts for Apple, Inc. Previous prognostications from the financial sector had the Cupertino-based company selling somewhere between 40 million and 50 million iPads during 2011. After Apple’s Q1 earnings call last week — where the company sold far fewer iPads than expected — the aforementioned analysts have started to reevaluate their estimates. “They are going to have comparison issues on the growth side,” said Michael Walker, a portfolio manager at WP Stewart speaking to Reuters. “They can’t grow 83 percent forever. There’s no way.” Firm Merrill Lynch is expecting Apple to sell just north of 26 million iPads during 2011, while IHS Suppli is expecting the company to move 39.6 million tablets during the same time period. More →
Analyst Horace Dediu on Tuesday uncovered figures Apple provided in a recent legal complaint against Samsung that may give us a preview of iOS device performance in the second quarter of Apple’s fiscal 2011. Within Apple’s filing, the company states, “As of March 2011, more than 108 million iPhones had been sold worldwide.” It goes on to say, “By March 2011, Apple had sold over 60 million [iPod touch] units,” and, “By March 2011, Apple sold over 19 million iPads.” Dediu uses these figures along with knowledge of Apple’s previously reported sales numbers to estimate that the company may have sold a minimum of 18.1 million iPhones, 4.5 million iPod touch units and 4.2 million iPads in its fiscal second quarter. While these numbers are anything but scientific, the iPhone and iPod touch figures are in line with analyst estimates. Apple’s iPad numbers, however, are extremely low compared to analyst estimates for the quarter, which range from 6 to 8 million iPads. Dediu notes that despite the potential miss on iPad sales, Apple is still poised to beat The Street’s EPS consensus. More →
Following RBC Capital Markets General Manager Mike Abramsky’s lead, JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz on Friday raised his revenue and EPS estimates for Apple’s 2011 fiscal second quarter. RBC upped its second-quarter revenue estimate from $23 billion to $24 billion on Tuesday, citing pent up iPad demand and strong sales of the Verizon iPhone 4 and newer laptop lines. On Friday, JP Morgan’s Moskowitz wrote in a note to investors that iPhone shipments in the quarter were likely stronger than expected thanks to the launch of the Verizon model and the addition of new sales channels for the GSM version of the popular smartphone. As such, he upped second-quarter estimate from 16.6 million units shipped to 18.4 million. Moskowitz raised his revenue estimate for the quarter to $24.42 billion from his earlier estimate of $23.83 billion, and adjusted his EPS estimate to $5.39 from $5.21. Apple will report its earnings for the March quarter on April 20th.
Internet juggernaut Google has released its financial results from the first-quarter of 2011, and things are looking pretty good. The company posted revenues of $8.58 billion during the quarter — which represents a 27% increase year-over-year — with $5.88 billion of that figure being generated by Google-owned websites. The company failed to meet Wall Street’s earning expectations, however, coming in $0.03 shy of the predicted $8.11 earnings per share. “These results demonstrate the value of search and search ads to our users and customers, as well as the extraordinary potential of areas like display and mobile,” said Patrick Pichette, the company’s CFO. ”It’s clear that our past investments have been crucial to our success today–which is why we continue to invest for the long term.” said Patrick Pichette, the company’s CFO. The company’s stock was trading down nearly 5% in after-hours trading at time of article writing. The full Q1 report is after the break. More →
RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky on Tuesday reiterated the firm’s position that sales of popular Apple products like the iPad 2 likely helped Apple record an impressive fiscal second quarter. In a note to investors, Abramsky wrote that tremendous demand for Apple’s iPad 2 tablet along with solid sales of the iPhone 4 (17 million units) and Apple’s refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks (3.6 million total Macs) may have led to $24 billion in revenue in the second quarter. The figure would represent 78% growth over the same quarter last year, and is above Wall Street’s consensus of $23 billion. RBC sees Apple having shipped 7 million iPads in the second quarter, which includes 2-3 million iPad 2 units and is down 5% from the year prior. The firm estimates 8 million third-quarter iPad shipments, and also notes that Apple will likely launch the iPhone 5 in September — but if it instead launches in June, it could add $1.2 billion to the firm’s $23-$24 billion third-quarter revenue estimates. RBC adjusted its full-year iPad sales forecast up from 25 million to 31 million units, thus pushing its fiscal 2011 revenue estimates from $99 billion to $102 billion and possibly helping Apple to cross the $100 billion milestone for the first time. Apple will report its fiscal second-quarter earnings on April 20th.
HTC on Friday reported first-quarter 2011 earnings highlighted by profit that handily beat analysts’ estimates. Tremendous demand for the company’s popular Android smartphones such as the EVO 4G and ThunderBolt helped HTC record a first-quarter profit of NT$14.83 billion ($511 million) compared to analyst expectations of NT$12.99 billion. HTC said its first-quarter revenue grew 174% to NT$104.2 billion, and analysts believe continued strong demand for Android devices will help HTC’s revenue grow up to 20% in the second quarter of this year. BGR on Thursday reported that HTC’s market capitalization, which recently surpassed that of Finnish phone giant Nokia, is expected to surpass NT$1 trillion this year, making HTC only the third company on the Taiwan Stock Exchange to reach the milestone. Share of HTC stock closed down 3.33% on Friday.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue on Friday cut his price target for Motorola Mobility stock to $33 from his previous target of $38. Sue also lowered his first and second-quarter sales and revenue forecasts, citing increased competition and slow sales of Motorola’s XOOM tablet. Motorola anticipated a rough first quarter when it reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2010 earnings in January, but Sue now believes earlier estimates were still high. He notes increased competition from devices like the HTC ThunderBolt at key carrier partner Verizon Wireless in revising his first-quarter device sales estimate down to 9.2 million units from 9.9 million. Sue also shaved $100 million from his first-quarter revenue forecast, which now sits at $3 billion. In the second quarter, Sue now sees Motorola selling 10.5 million devices, which includes only 300,000 Motorola XOOM tablets — down from his earlier estimate of 400,000 XOOMs and 10.9 million total devices. Motorola anticipates a net loss of between $26 and $62 million in the first quarter of 2011.
IDC on Tuesday released a new report detailing its vision of the smartphone market through 2011 and beyond. The research firm sees global smartphone shipments climbing to 450 million units in 2011, up 49.2% from 303.4 million units in 2010. More interestingly, however, is the firm’s forecast moving through 2011 and into 2015. Ovum had previously estimated that Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform would pass BlackBerry to become the No. 3 mobile OS globally in 2016. Considering the size and reach of Nokia, the flagship Windows Phone partner moving forward, we wondered if the company’s estimates were a bit light. IDC estimates that Nokia will lead Windows Phone past RIM’s BlackBerry OS and Apple’s iOS platform to become the No. 2 smartphone operating system in the world in 2015. “Up until the launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, Microsoft has steadily lost market share while other operating systems have brought forth new and appealing experiences,” said IDC senior research analyst Ramon Llamas in a statement. “The new alliance brings together Nokia’s hardware capabilities and Windows Phone’s differentiated platform. We expect the first devices to launch in 2012. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android.” Hit the break for the full press release. More →