updated 01:40 pm EDT, Thu June 9, 2011
Could point to better-than-average quarter
Trends amongst Apple's Taiwanese suppliers suggest that the company's May sales were up 87 percent year-over-year, according to Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. If the figure is accurate, it could be an impressive showing, a 10 percent sequential increase over April versus an average 2.2 percent month-to-month change. That performance is, however, relative to another earlier White estimate, suggesting 100 percent year-over-year growth in April.
"Although we are cognizant that share shifts occur in the Apple supply chain, inventory adjustments occur and builds occur ahead of demand, we believe the overall direction versus historical performance provides us with further confidence in strong trends at Apple," White comments. For major products such as iPads and iPhones, production tends to begin about a month before the hardware actually ships to the public. The iPad 2, for instance, started assembly in February in preparation for a March 11th launch.
White argues that Apple is on track to post superior sequential growth for the June quarter as a whole. If Apple's average month-to-month growth in the period is just 0.8 percent, he notes, the quarter-to-quarter figure could jump by 18 percent. Apple's average June-quarter increase is 15 percent.
The company itself has been relative pessimistic. "Keep in mind that Apple's outlook for the June quarter called for a sequential sales decline of 7%, much weaker than the eight-year average increase of 5%," says White. "By comparison, we are estimating a 1.8% sequential sales uptick for Apple in the June quarter."