updated 04:35 pm EDT, Tue June 1, 2010
Could pick up pace in run-up to Christmas
Even though Apple has already surpassed 2 million iPads, sales should slow somewhat in the next quarter, says Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf. For the present June quarter, Wolf is raising his shipping estimate from 1.5 to 2.5 million units. For the September quarter, however, Wolf is only upgrading his forecast from a million to 1.5 million tablets.
The reasons for the predicted slowdown are unspecified, but could simply involve flattening interest after rushes in April and May. Apple also continues to have supply issues around the world, with no sign of abatement; stores in the US and several other countries are reporting stock sellouts. Conversely, a second wave of iPad launches is scheduled for July, which could inflate sales more substantially than anticipated.
Because of the iPad, Wolf has raised his FY2010 EPS estimate from $12.85 to $13. Regarding other Apple products, concern is raised over the iPhone, which may sell less than the 7.5 million currently forecast by Needham for the June quarter. The crucial factor is whether the next iPhone will ship before or after the start of the next quarter; if it does arrive before, sales could easily beat 7.5 million, says Wolf.