Rumors Of Faltering iPhone 4S Sales Are Total “Bunk” [Analyst]

Rumors Of Faltering iPhone 4S Sales Are Total “Bunk” [Analyst]

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Someone fell down the rabbit hole, returning with a whopper of a rumor. The iPhone 4S – you know, the Apple handset that’s been flying off shelves and setting record pre-sales – is actually a dog. Seems Apple is having a hard time getting rid of these things and has told suppliers to back the truck up – like into next year.

The only problem with this rumor? It’s total bunk, says a prominent Apple analyst.

The chatter, begun by the Chinese-language Commercial Times and relayed by the Taiwan-based industry publication DigiTimes, cites unnamed sources to suggest Apple is telling its suppliers to delay some iPhone 4S parts from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012. The reason? The tech giant noticed demand lessened following the pre-sales period for the new iPhone.

The report “is without merit,” fires back UBS analyst Maynard Um. A check of suppliers found the “iPhone 4S is still selling out and experiencing 1-2 week waits for online orders with demand also driven by accelerated carrier/country launches,” he adds.

But wait, there’s more. The China report also claims some chip makers could see a 10-15% drop in fourth-quarter revenue due to the supposed delays. All of which makes Um scratch his head. “Various Apple suppliers have very recently indicated strength into the fourth quarter, which would be counter to weakening demand,” he notes. How could demand falter with a potential China iPhone deal expected in the first half of 2012?

More likely is that a parts delay relates to an upcoming refresh of the iPad line, likely during the first quarter of 2012. Even if iPad parts are delayed, a 10-15% cut in production would still result in beating UBS’ forecast of 12 million tablets for the December quarter, according to Um.

What do you think about all the rumors? Is the iPhone 4S really a dud? Let us know in comments.

  • larrymadill

    Somewhere in China someone said something that was most likely wrong. After the iPhone 5 debacle it is amazing anyone pays attention to these rumors.

  • madhatter61

    Digitimes is a joke IMHO.  They feed the frenzy of the media wanting to be the first to break a story.  Forget facts, logic and reality.

  • CharliK

    it might not be totally bunk. Sales have gone down due to lower supplies. ANd it is possible that Apple saw that some models were not selling like hotcakes and delayed certain parts exclusive to those models to have more focus put on the units that are selling like mad. Like say the 64 GB iPhones are selling at 1/10th the rate of the rest. Why waste time building a million new iPhones at that size when you can do 100k that will actually still cover demand and use the lines and time for 900k more phones of the other more in demand sizes. 

  • esizzle

    took me a few weeks of trying every night to finally get my hands on 2 iphone 4S’s.  i think demand is fine, some models more in demand than others. 

  • nolavabo

    Digitimes? The same paper that reported a bigger screen for the iPhone 4S and that the iPad 2 was delayed until Christmas?

    The one that *every* *single* quarter reports on a decrease in Apple orders? Apple must be making zero iPhones and zero iPads by now.

    The one that FAILED to use their insiders and unnamed sources inside the suppliers to predict either the iPhone or iPad before they happened?

    It’s a rag to sell advertising. The e-industry’s version of the National Enquirer.

  • Cgriffith

    I purchased the iPhone 4 in January 2011, and being the “fan boy” that I am of course I got the iPhone 4S, I’m very impressed It’s faster, the camera is better, and of course Siri…. I would be even more impressed if it was a complete redesign though. If the next iPhone that comes out is not a different redesign i will not purchase it.

  • jonbren

    Good point! I’m guessing the majority of the 4 million sold opening weekend were the 16GB model.

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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