updated 12:50 pm EST, Mon November 28, 2005
iPod supply constraint
Apple may not be able to meet Wall Street estimates for iPod shipments during the holiday season, according to a report issued today by investment research firm PiperJaffray. The firm said iPod supplies at non-Apple retailers is tight, as Apple is apparently holding inventory for its own stores. "Based on limited iPod availability (during times of peak demand) outside of Apple retail stores and apple.com, we continue to believe that some Street estimates for iPod unit shipments for the December quarter are too high. We are currently modeling for total iPod shipments of 9.0 million. While we do believe slight upside to our estimate is achievable, we do not expect Apple will be able to ship the number of units that are already anticipated in some Street models." Despite these concerns, the firm has raised its price target from $68 to $79 for Apple.
"We found that throughout the weekend all but 2 stores in our sample of 10 Apple stores had full availability of all iPods. On the other hand, all of the 11 third-party retailers in our survey did not have multiple varieties of iPods in stock by the end of the weekend."
The greatest shortage of iPods for third-party retailers were the 4 varieties of Nano.
The firm also said it feels Apple will see a continuation of strong demand for both iPod and Mac products during the holiday shopping season. Moreover, analyst Gene Munster said 2006 is likely to be a more "robust" year for Apple. "The incorporation of Intel and introduction of new form factors will both likely lead to the launch of several new/updated Macs in 2006, more changes to the Mac lineup than were seen in 2005."