Is Wall Street Wrong About The iPad Stalling?

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It’s looking like it might be a dreary quarter for Apple. Not only has iPhone growth pretty much leveled off, but most Wall Street analysts believe that when Apple announces its quarterly numbers, iPad sales will have actually declined year over year. Is Wall Street wrong?

Over at Fortune, Philip Elmer-DeWitt correlated the predictions of 21 Wall Street professionals and 14 amateurs, asking them how many iPads they thought Apple sold in the first three months of 2014.

Few people are predicting anything good. The consensus estimate is 19.3 million iPads, which would be a 0.7% decline in iPads sold year over year. The outliers are Horace Dediu, who thinks Apple sold 21.8 million iPads, and the Braeburn Group’s Matt Lew, who thinks Apple sold a mere 15 million iPads. The former would be a gain of 12%, the latter an abysmal decline of 23%, year-over-year.

To be fair, Apple might be a victim of its own success here. iPad sales grew so fast that they may be impossible to keep up: in Q2 2013, the iPad grew 55% year-over-year. Even so, Wall Street’s not going to be happy with these numbers, and Apple is going to feel more pressure than ever to deliver a killer new product in 2014 to keep investors happy.

  • Quentin Jersey

    yes, Apple is a flop because it failed to meet sales projections set by Wall St.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    Apple is a victim of its own success. Well, not exactly Apple, but Apple shareholders because they’re the real victims. Apple will again miss Wall Street expectations and the stock will plummet, leaving shareholders with a less valuable investment. Tim Cook is not aggressive enough in selling iPads. There are thousands of schools in the U.S. who could be moving from books to iPads. Apple should be out there actively persuading the BOE to start the move. Prove to the schools that the iPad is the way to go because it has the least fragmented ecosystem. Apple could be doing the same thing in the health institutions. I’m willing to bet Microsoft is out there trying to sell the Surface to anyone they can. Same with Samsung.

    I don’t think Wall Street is setting unrealistic goals for Apple. There’s a lot more Apple could do to increase sales although I’m still not sure it would translate into an increased share price. Apple makes far more money than any of its peers but those companies are being valued differently from Apple. Besides, there are a lot of Apple products that aren’t being updated for whatever reasons and that could easily be a reason for low overall sales. I blame the general economy more than I blame Apple, but Wall Street doesn’t consider the state of the economy, only unit sales.

  • booree

    there is something wrong with the X axis .. quarters are not in order .. so it’s misleading

  • Rob

    The “Analysts” and there predictions,lol. These are the same people that partly caused the economy to crash in 2008. They are nothing more than dart throwers and short term bet makers.

  • Nate

    Argh, the link bait, gets me every time. As far as I know the analysts are never right, so why do we give them air time?

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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