Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has cut its iPhone 5 component orders by as much as half following “weaker-than-expected” demand for device. The news sent Apple’s stock price plummeting, but according to some analysts, there’s nothing to worry about. iPhone 5 demand is doing just fine, according to Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu, and the component cuts are in no way related to poor demand.
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The iPhone 5 has quickly become Apple’s fastest-selling iPhone of all-time, meaning it’s incredibly difficult to get hold of — even more than three weeks after its launch. And the situation is about to get a lot worse, according to Bloomberg. Apple has had to increase quality-control at Foxconn to prevent damaged devices with nicks and scratches from leaving the factory. As a result, iPhone 5 production rates have dropped.
If you’re in the market for a tablet, and you don’t mind adopting Google’s Android platform, then the choice available to you right now is incredible. Amazon alone announced a pair of new Kindle Fire HD tablets on Thursday that feature an impressive selection of specifications, with 7- and 8.9-inch displays, that are priced at $199 and $299 respectively.
But despite those tiny price tags, it’s unlikely Amazon’s tablets will prove to be a more attractive choice than the iPad for most. Analysts are confident that Apple’s device will remain the market leader, particularly with a rumored iPad mini on its way in October.
While there’s plenty of debate surrounding the next-generation iPhone’s specifics, there’s one thing we do know for sure, and that is that the new device will make its debut at some point during 2012. In preparation for that, Apple has cut existing iPhone orders by around 25%.
Apple’s new iPad is still selling like hot cakes, and new customers continue to face a 1-2-week shipping delay when purchasing through the Apple online store. But the company is reportedly struggling to meet demand with production constrained by Retina display supply and the recent cuts to factory worker overtime at Foxconn.
Wall Street is cautiously optimistic that the update of RIM’s PlayBook tablet could avoid the BlackBerry maker from once again putting its finances in a ditch. The software update prompted one high-profile analyst to tell investors he was “less cautious” about the near future. Yes, that doesn’t scream confidence, but we are talking about the Titanic of mobile tech — and people are still running for the lifeboats at RIM.
If BlackBerry maker Research in Motion were going to dinner, it would arrive five hours late, finding Apple and Google had already eaten, told the best jokes and gone home with all the good-looking women. That’s the image analysts are offering in the wake of RIM announcing yet another delay entering the smartphone market.
Sales of the iPhone and Mac are topping analyst expectations for the holiday quarter, eating into Android marketshare. On the flip side, despite reaching new record sales, iPad demand is described as “a little light,” one analyst told investors Wednesday. In the kind of bad news rivals could only hope to have, iPhone demand continues to outstrip supply and those soft iPad figures are partly due to increased interest in another Apple product: the MacBook Air.
Steve Jobs’ disdain for the 7-inch tablet form factor embraced by the likes of would-be iPad killers like the Samsung Galaxy Tab couldn’t be any more dripping even if it poured in bilious rivulets out of his open mouth. At the last earnings call, he flat out dismissed them as “DOA – Dead On Arrival.” He even fantasized about customers sanding the meat off of their fingers until only the skeletal bone was left, since “sand[ing] down their fingers to around one-quarter of their present size” is the only way to type comfortably on one.
This contempt seems pretty unequivocal to me, but someone apparently wasn’t paying attention: according to Reuters, Asian manufacturing sources are telling them that Apple is putting together a 7-inch “iPad Mini” for shipment in early 2011.
Over in the world of Android smartphones, one form factor that has been seeing an increasing push from handset makers is the 4.3 inch touchscreen phone, best exemplified by the likes of the Motorola Droid X and HTC EVO 4G. That’s significantly larger than the iPhone’s 3.5-inch touchscreen.
While many companies are embracing this larger display, which makes internet browsing a lot easier at the expense of pocketability, it’s unclear if consumers really prefer it… which makes the claims of one Wall Street analyst that Apple will expand the iPhone line with a series of handsets with larger displays pretty suspect.
According to Shaw Wu, a Wall Street analyst from Kaufman Brothers, sources familiar with Apple’s overseas suppliers say that Apple is considering larger as well as smaller displays for its iPhone line.