Mobile

What weak iPhone demand? Apple shipped 52M iPhones in Q1, analyst estimates

Amid speculation that iPhone 5 demand has been weak for Apple, which has led to a significant stock hit, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a positively rosy view of Apple’s holiday quarter.

Kuo predicts that Apple shipped 52 million iPhones in its fiscal 2013 first quarter, according to a note to investors picked up by AppleInsider. That’s an increase of 41 percent over iPhones sold from the same quarter last year, and almost double the number of iPhone sales from the previous quarter.

Reports of Apple cutting back iPhone 5 component orders have put its demand in question, but Kuo’s own supply chain sources point to Apple shipping more than 35 million iPhone 5 units during the quarter. That’s still about 3.5 percent less than Kuo’s original 36.5 million forecast, but it’s far from disastrous for Apple. Kuo puts iPhone 4S shipments at 9.5 million and iPhone 4 shipments at 7.3 million. (If anything, that shows Apple has a lot of room for a real low-end iPhone.)

We won’t know the full story about Apple’s iPhone shipments until its earnings report next Wednesday, but at this point there seems to be little reason to panic. Kuo’s estimates show we shouldn’t be so quick to count out Apple — even though many are expecting its skyrocketing growth to come crashing down soon. There’s a good chance we’ll see a better explanation for Apple’s reduced iPhone component orders next week.

Overall, Kuo expects Apple to ship 140 million iPhones for 2012, up from around 72 million last year.

When it comes to the iPad, Kuo expects shipments of 23 million units, or a 49 percent jump over last year’s figure. Apple’s new fourth-generation iPad makes up 9.3 million of those units, while the iPad mini accounts for 8.2 million.


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