updated 12:00 pm EST, Thu January 22, 2009
Analyst Q1 verdicts
Apple did better than expected in its Q109 results, but there are definite causes for concern, claim analysts with Kaufman and UBS. Kaufman staffer Shaw Wu observes that the 34.7 percent gross margin achieved was substantially better than guidance of 30 to 31 percent, and even the optimistic Kaufman forecast of 31.7 percent. iPods also did extremely well, beating predictions of 18 to 20 million by reaching 22.7. MacBook sales were up 34 percent year-over-year.
MacBook sales only helped to offset slumping desktop sales however, which actually fell 25 percent year-over-year. UBS analyst Maynard Um warns that unless Apple is able to stem the trend, MacBook sales will have to grow at a significantly faster level to compensate, perhaps an unreachable one. Desktop decline could average 20 percent in FY09, and grow only 4 percent in FY10.
The iPhone is another worry, as Wu notes that the approximate 4.4 million units shipped were at best on the middle-low end of expectations. Um proposes that the next quarter could see a second sequential decline, and that current margins and selling prices are unsustainable. Another update to hardware, writes Um, may be the iPhone's only hope of real success.