Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu told clients in a research note Wednesday that Apple could sell as many as as one million iPhone gift cards for the holiday season. Mr. Wu is estimating that Apple will sell some six million iPhones during the quarter, down from the September quarter, but still higher than 2007.
"We think there is strong reception of AAPL's new iPhone 3G Gift Card program, where the process of giving the iPhone as a gift is greatly simplified without the need for activation and personal information," Mr. Wu wrote. "We estimate several hundred thousand to one million units could be impacted."
That said, he also noted that much, if not most, of the sales of these phones won't be registered by Apple until the March quarter, as Apple can not recognize the sale until the phone is purchased and activated. Mr. Wu believes that, "the risk here is that the customer will likely activate post-Christmas."
Apple traded up and down throughout the day, Thursday, but ended the day lower at US$95.00 per share, down $3.21 (-3.27%), on moderate volume of 37.2 million shares trading hands.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.