Susquehanna Lowers iPhone, Mac Forecasts on Supply Constraints

The iPhone Crystal Ball
Brokerage firm Susquehanna Financial Group lowered 4th quarter product forecasts on Apple’s popular iPhone and Mac product lines Tuesday citing supply constraints. The company said that hard drive shortages would affect Mac shipments, while unspecified component shortages would result in fewer iPhones.

Flooding in Thailand is at the root of the problem, according to analyst Jeff Fidacaro, and the hard drive issue is one that affects the entire industry. The analyst didn’t specify the number of Macs that Apple might not be able to make, but he did say that industry wide, there would be a 17% decrease in the number of PC motherboards shipped due the lack of hard drives that will be available to make completed units.

On the iPhone side, the analyst was specific, cutting iPhone 4S product forecasts during the December quarter by up to 3 million units, from 26-28 million units down to 23-25 million. Counting iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, Mr. Fidacaro is estimating 29-34 million total iPhone sales, enough for a record quarter, and then some.

The research note also told investors that Apple is working on a device with a 7” display, describing it as either a larger iPod touch or smaller iPad. This was based on leaks from Apple’s suppliers, and adds to similar rumors about a smaller iPad that have been coming out of Asia in recent weeks.

Then again, rumors of a 7” iPad have circulated since at least August of 2010, so take this one with a grain of salt on hand.

Shares of AAPL moved lower during the afternoon session on Monday, trading at US$375.04, down $1.08 (-0.29%), on moderate volume.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.