How Many iPhones Did Apple Sell In The March Quarter?

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    Posted: 20 April 2012 06:31 AM #91

    I think this picture tells at least a couple dozen words.  LOL

    The gist of it:  IMHO, you can’t draw any conclusions about iPhone sales worldwide from US activation numbers. 

    Raw data used for the chart is below.  Googled all the AT&T and Verizon activation data.  Thanks to Robert’s static Posts at Eventide pages for saving me some time as far as getting all the iPhone unit sales.

    ......AT&T Activations    Verizon Activations    iPhone unit sales
    Q1 09   1900                                         4363
    Q2 09   1600                                         3793
    Q3 09   2400                                         5208
    Q4 09   3200                                         7367
    Q1 10   3100                                         8737
    Q2 10   2700                                         8752
    Q3 10   3200                                         8398
    Q4 10   5200                                         14102
    Q1 11   4100                                         16235
    Q2 11   3600                2200                     18647
    Q3 11   3600                2300                     20338
    Q4 11   2700                2000                     17073
    Q1 12   7600                4300                     37044
    Q2 12                       3200 
    [ Edited: 20 April 2012 06:45 AM by Mav ]

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    Posted: 20 April 2012 06:41 AM #92

    And some more data points from China:

    China Mobile Profit Misses Estimates on Costs to Add New Users
    By Bloomberg News - Apr 20, 2012 10:52 AM GMT+0200

    China Mobile Ltd. (941), the world?s biggest phone company by subscribers, posted a 3.5 percent gain in first-quarter profit that missed analysts? estimates as it increased spending to attract more phone Web users.

    Net income climbed to 27.8 billion yuan ($4.4 billion), from 26.9 billion yuan a year earlier, the carrier said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange today. Profit was projected at 28.2 billion yuan, according to the median of four analysts? estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

    Chief Executive Li Yue will boost capital expenditure to 131.9 billion yuan this year, from 128.5 billion yuan last year, the company said last month, as he upgrades networks and rolls out more Wi-Fi hotspots to help maintain the company?s lead in smartphone users over China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. (762) and China Telecom Corp. The investments have helped the company win 15 million iPhone users, as Apple Inc. (AAPL) has yet to make a device for the company?s 3G network.

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    Posted: 20 April 2012 06:43 AM #93

    The 15M number is from early March, by the way.

    For additional reference, the previous benchmark of 10M unsanctioned iPhones on China Mobile was met in late October 2011:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/24/telecom-chinamobile-iphone-idUSL5E7LO3EF20111024

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  • Posted: 20 April 2012 08:59 AM #94

    Nice posts, Mav. Thank you.

         
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    Posted: 20 April 2012 09:47 AM #95

    Thanks Robert, Mav, Big Al, and others. Time has been too pressing the past few days to allow me to look seriously at the numbers, and the intraday thread generates more uncertainty and doubt than solace. The discussion here has been of great benefit.

         
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    Posted: 20 April 2012 10:51 AM #96

    Prazan - 20 April 2012 12:47 PM

    Thanks Robert, Mav, Big Al, and others. Time has been too pressing the past few days to allow me to look seriously at the numbers, and the intraday thread generates more uncertainty and doubt than solace. The discussion here has been of great benefit.

    +1

    This is the type of probing analysis that makes this group shine.  Thanks to all.

    And Mav, it proves again you are not just a pretty face (avatar).

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  • Posted: 20 April 2012 02:12 PM #97

    Mav - 20 April 2012 09:43 AM

    The 15M number is from early March, by the way.

    For additional reference, the previous benchmark of 10M unsanctioned iPhones on China Mobile was met in late October 2011:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/24/telecom-chinamobile-iphone-idUSL5E7LO3EF20111024

    Thanks Mav

    The data in the link would lead me to believe China alone will make up for any sequential drop in domestic iPhone sales.  Consider the increase on the one carrier in China that does not have a system to fully support the functions of the device and extrapolate that out to both China Unicom and Telecom who are functional with the iPhone.  This would seem to give credence to what DT is forecasting. 

    This article had no legs in the media, but I would argue is more significant as an indicator of phone sales.  Contrast that with the Verizon drop story.  Whatever!

    So I bet this leads you to even greater confidence in your phone sales forecast?

         
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    Posted: 20 April 2012 03:03 PM #98

    Red Shirted Ensign - 20 April 2012 01:51 PM
    Prazan - 20 April 2012 12:47 PM

    Thanks Robert, Mav, Big Al, and others. Time has been too pressing the past few days to allow me to look seriously at the numbers, and the intraday thread generates more uncertainty and doubt than solace. The discussion here has been of great benefit.

    +1

    This is the type of probing analysis that makes this group shine.  Thanks to all.

    And Mav, it proves again you are not just a pretty face (avatar).

    Robert will be the first to tell you how superficial my chart is LOL

    And it is!  But it’s a quick read by design.  The point is to put in just a little extra effort even if the trail leads to another puzzle piece or two rather than the big picture.  Knowledge is still knowledge.

    I think it at the very least helps dispel some fear.

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  • Posted: 20 April 2012 05:57 PM #99

    Mav - 20 April 2012 09:31 AM

     

    Raw data used for the chart is below.  Googled all the AT&T and Verizon activation data.  Thanks to Robert’s static Posts at Eventide pages for saving me some time as far as getting all the iPhone unit sales.

    Mav, good work!

    I’ll be moving the data on the static pages to the new site sometime over the next few months. I’m glad the info was helpful.

    Making prognostications about unit sales from the Verizon activations is akin to reading the early numbers from Dixville Notch and declaring a winner in a presidential election.

    For all of the many reasons mentioned earlier in this topic, the Verizon activation numbers are not a valid guide in determining quarterly global unit sales.

         
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    Posted: 20 April 2012 05:57 PM #100

    Robert points about channel fill adding a few million possibly in iPhones for the quarter is something I did not factor. With that in mind I can see 35 million iPhones as more likely than my previous 33 million prediction.

    However what sort of effect will this have on the June quarter? I presume the reverse channel ‘emptying’ would need to be done before the next iPhone refresh, thereby reducing numbers in Q3?

    I’m not to wrorried if so, as I think a sequential drop in iPhones for Q3 will more than be compensated by the huge sequential increase in iPads.

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  • Posted: 20 April 2012 06:01 PM #101

    Burgess - 20 April 2012 08:57 PM

    Robert points about channel fill adding a few million possibly in iPhones for the quarter is something I did not factor. With that in mind I can see 35 million iPhones as more likely than my previous 33 million prediction.

    However what sort of effect will this have on the June quarter? I presume the reverse channel ‘emptying’ would need to be done before the next iPhone refresh, thereby reducing numbers in Q3?

    I’m not to wrorried if so, as I think a sequential drop in iPhones for Q3 will more than be compensated by the huge sequential increase in iPads.

    Apple will not “stuff” or over fill the channel. As global demand rises each quarter, new carriers are added and new regions opened for unit sales, the channel supply shrinks as a percentage of forward sales.

         
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    Posted: 20 April 2012 06:01 PM #102

    I’m not counting out a sequential drop in iPhones.  But Burgess, did you see the last page of this topic?

    There might be another chart in there somewhere, but at the very least there’s more data to consider.

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  • Posted: 20 April 2012 06:10 PM #103

    Here’s an interesting tidbit:

    One of the Braeburn Group members has been tracking the price of pre-owned iPhone 4S handsets. The secondary market price took a precipitous drop around the end of last month, just as Apple would be adding supply ahead of the end of the quarter. Units shipped into the market at that late date would not be sold to the end user or activated until into the new quarter.

    Again, iPhone unit sales growth in the March quarter will come from Asia-Pacifc, new carriers added in the quarter and from regions added for iPhone 4S distribution late in the December quarter and throughout the March quarter.

         
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    Posted: 20 April 2012 06:37 PM #104

    Sorry, didn’t mean to imply stuffing to juice the numbers or anything.

    And I guess I was asking what quarter people thought the likely inventory drawdown would occur due to the iPhone transition. Or have I got the wrong end of the stick, and inventory of current iPhones being drawn down should ideally be matched by inventory of the new model increasing?

    Another related thought, has anyone considered the slightly reduced factory output caused by the Chinese new year holiday having any effect whatsoever on iPhone supply for Q2? Is it a small enough blip to be meaningless or something people have factored in to estimates?

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    Posted: 20 April 2012 06:39 PM #105

    Burgess, it didn’t mean anything last fiscal Q2.

    Seriously, please read over the last page and let us know your thoughts.  I think there’s more runway, I just need some time to piece it all together.

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