Summertime iPhone 5 Rumors Hurt Q3 iPhone Sales For Apple

Wall Street is frowning on an earnings report from Apple today that shows they failed to meet analysts’ iPhone sales predictions for Q3 2011. The long, painful wait for the iPhone 5 certainly played a role.

Apple is dealing with a rare loss on Wall Street today after reports indicate they fell short of analysts’ expectations that Cupertino would sell at least 20 million iPhone units in the third quarter of 2011. According to, “Apple said Tuesday it sold more than 17 million iPhones in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 24, up from more than 14 million a year ago but lower than the 20 million or more that analysts had been expecting.” The news comes as a surprise in the midst of a virtual sales boom for the iPhone 4S, which saw over 4 million sales in the first weekend of its release alone.

In spite of Wall Street’s audacious expectations for iPhone sales in Q3, the third quarter can be a daunting sales quarter for businesses in the northern hemisphere who have to contend with Summertime vacationers who are typically less apt to spend their disposable income on luxury goods like the iPhone. But Apple CEO Tim Cook, “speaking on a conference call, said iPhone sales slowed toward the end of the quarter amid speculation over the debut of a new model.”

Mr. Cook’s recognition that missing iPhone sales estimates may have been a result over iPhone 5 speculation underscores the belief that Apple failed to properly manage expectations for the new iPhone, particularly considering that the release of the iPhone 4S came almost four months later than most analysts and consumers had expected, and failed to deliver the larger screen and form factor overhaul that was anticipated for the now fabled “iPhone 5.”

In spite of Apple’s underperformance, current sales of the iPhone 4S indicate that it will easily surpass all over sales benchmarks established by previous iPhone iterations. On his conference call, Mr. Cook was”very confident that we will set an all-time record in the December quarter for iPhone sales.” In addition to these positive sales forecasts, Apple also has the opportunity to brand its 2012 iPhone release as the “iPhone 5,” thus cashing in on the unprecedented buzz that still surrounds this still-rumored but much-anticipated smartphone.

By Michael Nace


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