Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
Yesterday it became quite clear: Apple has no chance of surviving since Steve Jobs’ departure. With Tim Cook as CEO, Apple moves rudderless, in any number of directions, certainly not on time, and no one cares.
On Monday Apple delivered a press release revealing they had shattered any sales launch figure of any device, of any kind, ever sold on this planet. Over the weekend, Apple sold over 9 million iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C smartphones combined.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene “No Lines” Munster figured Apple would likely sell 5 to 6 million iPhones over the weekend, provided Apple had enough units built to meet demand. Munster figured 10% - 15% of weekend sales could be attributed to China, a country that had previously never been included in an initial Apple launch.
Spinsters quickly took to the airwaves this morning, looking to protect their reputation and non-Apple related smartphone investments. The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Vigna interviewed Dow Jones Newswires Managing Editor George Stahl, who was quick to point out that last year’s iPhone 5 expectations were overblown, so this year’s numbers were ratcheted back, making Apple’s 9 million sales figure look more impressive than it is. Stahl also pointed to China being in the initial launch mix, further inflating Apple's initial sales figures.
Similar talking points are making the rounds in the media, including the fact Apple simply has a large install base to build upon, implying a flat upgrade wave. Deflection is another trend this week, carrying the theme that Apple must launch into a new market to maintain relevance (but others don't?...).
Massaging Apple’s announcements is one thing, data points are another. Taking Munster’s high point of 15% of iPhone units sold in China over the weekend, this still leaves 7,650,000 sold throughout the remaining markets, representing a 65% year-over-year growth when compared to the iPhone 5 launch.
iPhone sales are simply not about upgrades. The pickup in sales represents growth, massive growth for iOS, and likely large conversions of disillusioned Android users. Talking to colleagues and friends over the weekend, no one had yet upgraded their 4S iPhones, but were planning on doing so over the next few months (my family plan has four iPhone 4S’s waiting in the wings to upgrade).
Apple’s history making weekend sales figures can't be explained by the media to only be due to China and loyal upgrade buyers alone. Piper Jaffray typically collects local Apple store sales figures, providing a snapshot of who is buying which models from Apple. We will report any new data we collect along the way, to provide an accurate picture of how Apple’s iPhone sales are progressing.
One thing is perfectly clear, without Steve Jobs leadership, the magic at Apple continues. This is Tim Cook’s company and the work ethic, drive, and meaningful invention continues to show up in spades.
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