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AAPL Stock: 102.1 ( + 1.21 )

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AAPL drops four percent on 'misinterpreted' Chinese demand?

updated 09:00 pm EST, Fri December 14, 2012

Lack of lines in stores seen as weaker demand

Moves by Apple to control crowds at Chinese stores (due to concerns of violence and scalpers) and an increase in the number of points of sale, as well as a stronger online and in-store reservation system may be fooling some analysts into thinking that the iPhone 5 is seeing weaker demand than forecast. Analysts from UBS and Jeffries cut their estimates on iPhone sales on Friday, sending the stock plummeting four percent to close at $509.79, a ten-month low. The lack of long line-ups that had been seen with previous iPhone launches may be making investors nervous.

The lack of lines -- as well as the relatively weaker in-store demand for the iPhone 5 -- is easily explained, however. Following violence outside its Shanghai stores last year due to quick sellouts of the iPhone 4S, the company switched to a reservation system and tight limits on how many iPhones a person could buy -- preventing "mules" from buying quantities and re-selling them in other countries. Apple also dramatically increased the number of "points of sale" carrying the iPhone 5, and let carriers spend weeks collecting pre-orders.

In addition to some 300,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 5 taken by China Unicom, the country's second-largest carrier, other reports mentioned some 200,000 units of the iPhone 4S were sold through third-place China Telecom as well, reflecting healthy interest in the lower-cost options provided by Apple. The main barrier to the iPhone 5's success in China would seem to be that various regulatory hurdles kept it out of retail until nearly mid-December, meaning it will be April before it is known exactly the impact of the iPhone 5 in China, as its debut comes too late to make a strong impression in overall iPhone sales for Apple's fiscal Q1, even though some analysts believe the company will sell a few million units in China by the end of the year.

Whether the iPhone is an immediate hit or not may impact the stock price short-term, but Apple is widely expected to have another record holiday quarter this year overall, with a strong and mostly-refreshed lineup of products including recently-updated iPods and iPod Touch units, the iPad Mini (which is on track to outsell the also-updated fourth-generation iPad), the Apple TV (which received a minor software update in late November and has given hints that it may soon be updated to allow iOS apps to run), and a strong lineup of Mac products, including the limited-supply new iMacs.

The iPhone 5 does still face some challenges in China, including some issues with Apple's Maps application that still lags behind the rapidly-improving US and European versions, a more limited version of Siri, a high up-front cost in the country and the ongoing lack of a deal with China Mobile, the world's largest carrier. The latter problem is expected to be resolved at some point early next year, and December is not an exceptional sales month in China the way it is in the west, but its absence on that network continues to give competitors a leg up.

Apple's stock has been on a general downward slide for three months now, fostered by profit-taking ahead of expected capital-gains tax increases in the new year. Even a number of Apple executives have cashed in large amounts of stock in order to avoid the possibility of increased taxes on such income.

The change in capital-gains taxes mostly affects high-income investors, but is a noticeable jump from the current (and historically low) 15 percent rate (investors who are in tax brackets lower than the top two will see long-term capital gains increase from the current zero level to 10 percent). While Congress may make some changes to the increase, currently it will move to 25 percent for the top two tax brackets on long-term gains (stocks held for more than one year). Short-term gains rates will not substantially change.

Some analysts are sticking with their prediction that the stock will bounce back after the holidays. Piper Jaffray technology analyst Gene Munster is holding to rating and predicting that 45 million iPhones will be sold this quarter, with about one tenth of that number coming from China.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-28-08

    How about an article on what fools actually listen to these analysts? They aren't doing their clients any favors when they keep thinking (?) "It's all about market share!" No dopes it's about money as in profit!

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 09-18-99

    Keep the trash-talk going. I just love it. 2-5% of daily trading range sure beats letting my money sit in the bank earning less than 2%.

  1. sinoman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-14-12

    While Apple's Maps may be a problem in the US, it is superior to Google Maps in China. Google Maps service in China is a piece of garbage, frankly, particularly position location, which is routinely off by a quarter mile. Maps isn't affecting anyone's purchase of iPhone in China. Stick to facts and don't pontificate about things about which you don't have a clue

  1. mp1963

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-29-10

    Just another example of how brainless and lacking in long term vision these "investors" and "analysts" are. Perhaps someone should analyse the "analysts" and see if they a profitable, and if not they should be fired ?

  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-19-01

    That... or the rabbit's feet are crooked in their pockets.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    I've read somewhere that crApple will or can hit 425... Well I think that is very possible yet I am going to go with $455 USD, since there is nothing really compelling come out of crApple that will get people buying and thinking "just crApple". The grip is loosening is one reason it is dropping. Mobile sales is where it really counts, not stupid 'crapPad dream temp entertainment slates.

  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-19-01

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    ... since there is nothing really compelling come out of crApple that will get people buying and thinking "just crApple".



    Ahh, Ok, so basically unless there is some ultra-sensational new product every few weeks, Apple's going down, huh? Forget about all that silly financial stuff like record sales and profits, etc. Yea, not all that much better than my rabbit's feet theory. :

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    Mobile sales is where it really counts, not stupid 'crapPad dream temp entertainment slates.



    And Apple is doing poorly in that sector? I think you need to come back to reality one of these days. (And selling hundreds of millions of the dream Pads too.) :lol:

    You might want to check this (a little help in your reality recovery):
    statista.com/topics/847/apple/chart/735/apple-s-astonishing-profit-in-context/

  1. chefpastry

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-14-05

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    I've read somewhere that crApple will or can hit 425... Well I think that is very possible yet I am going to go with $455 USD, since there is nothing really compelling come out of crApple that will get people buying and thinking "just crApple". The grip is loosening is one reason it is dropping. Mobile sales is where it really counts, not stupid 'crapPad dream temp entertainment slates.



    Put your money where your mouth is. Short AAPL. The only crap around here is coming from you.

  1. abnyc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-28-00

    this is crap. they just sold 2m iphones in 2 days in china. UBS is buying apple stock like crazy and taking the price down for their own purposes.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Just goes to show your (the last 3 posters) sane ways of interpreting the market have some bearing but not the whole pie on the market. You need a feeling beyond numbers. Can't explain it. Intuition maybe?

  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-19-01

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    Just goes to show your (the last 3 posters) sane ways of interpreting the market have some bearing but not the whole pie on the market. You need a feeling beyond numbers. Can't explain it. Intuition maybe?



    Well, there are a lot of external factors... no doubt. For example, it doesn't much matter what the numbers are if the whole economy collapses. And, yes, since the markets aren't actually rational, all sorts of odd ideas can influence the stock prices. That's part of the problem. However, IF the economy stays somewhat stable, AND Apple continues to do really well, THEN the reality of that generally sinks in, beyond the rabbits foot.

    The thing is, you have to have your intuitions be informed. You seem most informed by a warped view of Apple (crApple... really?), probably based on ignorance, and influence from uninformed journalists writing nonsensical articles about how Apple is in trouble because they are being 'outsold' by Android devices coming in cereal boxes as the free-prize at the bottom. (The sales figures for Android are irrelevant... you want to look at usage numbers to get a better idea... as, in case you didn't get my joke, Android devices are coming on everything from suddenly 'smart' feature phones to 'free' tablets that end up in shoe boxes.)

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by Steve WilkinsonView Post


    Well, there are a lot of external factors... no doubt. For example, it doesn't much matter what the numbers are if the whole economy collapses. And, yes, since the markets aren't actually rational, all sorts of odd ideas can influence the stock prices. That's part of the problem. However, IF the economy stays somewhat stable, AND Apple continues to do really well, THEN the reality of that generally sinks in, beyond the rabbits foot.
    The thing is, you have to have your intuitions be informed. You seem most informed by a warped view of Apple (crApple... really?), probably based on ignorance, and influence from uninformed journalists writing nonsensical articles about how Apple is in trouble because they are being 'outsold' by Android devices coming in cereal boxes as the free-prize at the bottom. (The sales figures for Android are irrelevant... you want to look at usage numbers to get a better idea... as, in case you didn't get my joke, Android devices are coming on everything from suddenly 'smart' feature phones to 'free' tablets that end up in shoe boxes.)

    Well it seems like you don't own an android. And if you did, probably not long enough to figure out how to make your new stay welcoming.

    With all the customization to your hearts liking, really there isn't anything else to complain about. Suddenly "smart" features like the "new" cryPhone's pull-down notifications/menu? Right...

  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-19-01

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    Well it seems like you don't own an android. And if you did, probably not long enough to figure out how to make your new stay welcoming.



    No, I actually don't own one. Why would I? Why would I need to figure out how to make it *stay* welcoming? I don't have to figure that out for my iPad or iPod touch.

    One of my friends has a couple. One he got in trade for fixing someone's PS3. The other he picked up for under $100. He uses them to test stuff on, but doesn't find them compelling to use. He has an iPad for that. Another friend got one free for signing up for Cable service. He and his wife didn't like it that much and hardly used it. They had decided tablets kind of suck. I finally talked them into giving the iPad a try and they have one now and use it lots. A guy in a coffee shop one day saw me using my iPad and asked how I could stand using it (he had a laptop). We got talking and he had tried an Android tablet, but thought it was horrible to use, so he gave up, sold it (at a substantial loss), and bought a laptop.

    I've spent a bit of time at the one friend's place checking Android out. I wasn't impressed, though I'm sure I could make it work. I spent most of my career using Windows and Unix boxes and making them work. However, now that I have the choice with my own business, I use a Mac and iOS devices. I'm not incapable of making the others work, but they just aren't as good for most of what I do.

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    With all the customization to your hearts liking, really there isn't anything else to complain about. Suddenly "smart" features like the "new" cryPhone's pull-down notifications/menu? Right...



    Why do I need customization to my heart's content? That seems like kind of a waste of time or at best, a toy. Pull-down notification is OK, I guess, and better than what it previously was in some ways... not a biggie for me.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by Steve WilkinsonView Post


    No, I actually don't own one. Why would I? Why would I need to figure out how to make it *stay* welcoming? I don't have to figure that out for my iPad or iPod touch.
    One of my friends has a couple. One he got in trade for fixing someone's PS3. The other he picked up for under $100. He uses them to test stuff on, but doesn't find them compelling to use. He has an iPad for that. Another friend got one free for signing up for Cable service. He and his wife didn't like it that much and hardly used it. They had decided tablets kind of suck. I finally talked them into giving the iPad a try and they have one now and use it lots. A guy in a coffee shop one day saw me using my iPad and asked how I could stand using it (he had a laptop). We got talking and he had tried an Android tablet, but thought it was horrible to use, so he gave up, sold it (at a substantial loss), and bought a laptop.
    I've spent a bit of time at the one friend's place checking Android out. I wasn't impressed, though I'm sure I could make it work. I spent most of my career using Windows and Unix boxes and making them work. However, now that I have the choice with my own business, I use a Mac and iOS devices. I'm not incapable of making the others work, but they just aren't as good for most of what I do.
    Why do I need customization to my heart's content? That seems like kind of a waste of time or at best, a toy. Pull-down notification is OK, I guess, and better than what it previously was in some ways... not a biggie for me.

    Well, the old saying goes, "you get what you put in"... this is no different. I yield my time.

  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-19-01

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    Well, the old saying goes, "you get what you put in"... this is no different. I yield my time.


    Time is too valuable. I prefer to get my work done and enjoy it as much as possible.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by Steve WilkinsonView Post


    Time is too valuable. I prefer to get my work done and enjoy it as much as possible.

    sure, than I guess you don't make enough time to save a bundle either than too I presume.... pity

  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-19-01

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    sure, than I guess you don't make enough time to save a bundle either than too I presume.... pity



    Yes, I do make more than minimum wage... but I think even if those who do did a decent evaluation, they'd be much better off putting the time savings to better use.

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