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.