This not your typical click-bait piece bashing away at Apple over their recent tumble from the highest peak of the corporate world. It also isn’t a “rally the troops for the cause” piece from a blind fanboy. I’m just really curious where things are going to end up at this point. Apple’s stock price has fallen so far that it’s hard to see an end at the moment.
There is still plenty of kindling for the fire, too. Every day brings new reports of suppliers cutting forecasts and prognosticating doom and gloom. There is also a steady stream of articles from analysts telling us why they are right this time. Maybe they are. Maybe it’s a repeat of last year. Maybe it’s somewhere in between.
The thing is, we really can’t know for sure what the truth about Apple revenue and iPhone sales is quite yet. There aren’t any hard numbers from Apple and there won’t be for over a month. Even where there are, we won’t get the number of iPhones sold anymore, thanks to their recent policy change. The First Quarter earnings call last year was on February 1, so we are sure to hear lots of negative speculation over the next month and a half. Until then, no one outside of Apple Park will know if any of it is true.
We saw a bit of this earlier in the year with the iPhone X. The supply chain reports. The mass reading of the tea leaves. The vast majority of analysts predicting disaster. Bad news travels fast and when you are the biggest (currently second or third biggest, depending on the market that day) company in the world, the bullseye is big. Of course, Apple turned the tables and had the last laugh earlier this year. Is the current situation just more of the same, or has Apple’s luck finally run out?
That last bit is the hard part. There seems to be more evidence of a slowdown in iPhone sales this time out. With so many reports from so many suppliers, many of whom mainly supply Apple, its hard to believe that there’s no fire with all of this smoke. However, it’s also hard to ignore last year. And there are suppliers who’s numbers point to the iPhone selling about the same this year as last year. You can see examples of a couple of these less publicized reports here. If they are correct, then iPhone sales are pretty much dead on Apple’s guidance for the quarter. Just imagine how much and how fast Apple’s stock price and valuation would rebound if this occurred.
It is so easy to declare that one side is right and the other is wrong. “Apple is DOOMED!!” “The analysts have gotten it all wrong AGAIN!!” I think this better sums up the mood for many Apple fans- “Who cares?” So many already think that they can predict the future and tell what Apple sales will look like this quarter. I’ll leave all that to them and reserve judgement until early February. The hard numbers are all that matter so why not just wait for them?
I can tell you one thing with certainty- I’m sick of writing about Apple’s stock price.