updated 07:55 pm EDT, Thu April 3, 2008
RBC on iPhone stock levels
As Apple's stock of iPhones grows increasingly thin – an issue that reportedly initially surfaced in the company's New York retail stores – RBC Capital theorizes the shortage to be representative of unanticipated strong post-holiday sales of the device. According to Tech Trader Daily, analyst Mike Abramsky claims that a predicted slowdown should have occurred after the holiday season, but sales remained strong, which leaves Apple short-handed with its allegedly ramped down production scale.
"Rather than from component shortages or ahead of a 3G launch, Apple may have under-estimated post-holiday demand on expectations of a [calendar] Q1 sales slowdown, which never materialized." Writes Abramsky. "Apple and investors have struggled to forecast iPhone demand, including the impact of unlocked phones and seasonality."
Abramsky says that the supply problem – while somewhat of an ego booster for Apple – will need to be addressed, to avoid buyer and channel disruption, especially with the rumored 3G version looming on the horizon.