Apple Says That iPhone Rumors Have a Negative Impact on Business



During today’s Q4 earnings call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer talked about how “pervasive” iPhone rumors hurt Apple’s fiscal business. While nearly every product saw a significant increase in sales for the fourth fiscal quarter, the iPhone saw a lackluster 17.07 million iPhones sold. That’s 21% year over year growth. The iPad saw 166% year over year growth.

It’s typical for product sales to taper off right before a refresh, but this last fiscal quarter’s iPhone sales were even lower than what Apple expected. Oppenheimer blamed the rumor mill for hurting Apple’s fiscal business with regards to the iPhone.

As quoted by The Next Web,

“Apple’s secrecy creates a certain amount of vacuum, which, as we all know, the Internet abhors,” Oppenheimer said, “and then fills with rumors.”

Rumors suggested that Apple would unveil a completely redesigned iPhone 5, while combating reports claimed that there would be two new iPhones announced at once. There was also the rumor that the iPod touch would be equipped with 3G and positioned as a data-only handset.

Apple believes that such rumors caused more buyers to hold off on purchasing the iPhone 4.

In terms of the future, Apple is positive that it will have a record-breaking holiday quarter for iPhone sales. The iPhone 4S has already sold faster than almost all of Apple’s previous generation iPhones combined, with 4 million units sold on opening weekend.

The iPhone makes up the largest percentage of Apple’s revenue, and holiday sales for the iPhone 4S will undoubtedly propel Apple into an incredible next quarter. When speaking about the iPhone 4S, Oppenheimer said, “we’re thrilled about it and the holiday season.”

  • Mike Jones

    What garbage.  Though I agree with Oppenheimer, that’s really the price you pay for being an innovative company that’s always releasing revolutionary products.  Consumers get used to seeing something radically new, and so they won’t buy the “old” device when rumors spin.

    Unfortunately for Apple, the rumor mill’s effect on their sales is the other side of the coin.  (The second side is “innovation”). 

    In short, it’s a great problem to have.  Stop crying, Apple.  Keep doing what you’re doing by releasing products that “wow”.

  • Tiger7985

    How about apple puts out statements more often shutting down the rumors? that would put people at ease and stop speculating who/what/where/when/how…….

  • Qwijii

    @Mike Jones If by “wow” you mean products that are solid, but decidedly incremental, then yes.
    The iPod, iPhone, and iPad wow’d. Iterations on these were just that. As is to be expected… Don’t make them into something they aren’t. Innovators, yes. But not with every revision of product.

  • Pssiril34

    I think the biggest hurdle for apple is renewing confidence in its loyal consumers that it will keep on coming up with the new “big thing” that inevitably propels a copy-cat tech culture.  As a company, they’re fine, but will they continue to propel culture? I think this is the biggest question for Apple.  I do have doubts, but I am hopeful, that perhaps the spirit that propelled the distinctive Apple culture will live on and continue to evolve.

  • Bob

    Sure, sales of the current model may taper, but how can you complain about sales when you sell a record number of the new model?

    Let’s face it, the rumors get Apple fans psyched up for the new (insert fun new gadget here). In fact, I knew I was trading up my iPhone 3 for a 4 the first time I saw the leaked photo.

  • Justin Adams

    Are we sure the iPhone 4S will help those sales. I’ve already heard multiple AT&T stores telling customers to wait until summer 2012 for when the iPhone 5 will make its debut. Customers are then seen walking out of the store completely or purchasing an Android device which was the case at a Pittsburgh store I was in. I didn’t know what to think if an AT&T salesperson was informing me that an iPhone 5 was coming this summer and I should save my cash till then. He almost had me fooled.

  • randall

    Any rep suggesting this should be fired and possibly sued. That hurts their company and Apple. Also, why would you buy an Android if you were considering a brand new iPhone, just because in eight months or so there will be a refresh? Android makes so many phones every other month it’s impossible to keep up. 

  • Anonymous

    If Apple truly wants to quash rumors, then it needs to be more open about it’s product roadmap, otherwise that’s simply the price it must pay for secrecy.  It can’t have both secrecy AND and an absence of rumors.  That’s crazy talk.

  • Wayne_Luke

    Most stores are affiliates and not actually owned by AT&T. I know in my area with 400,000 people and ten different stores flying the AT&T banner, only one is a corporate store.

  • Khkhhj

    Couldn’t have said it any better

  • threedeuce5

    What if, just once, people decided to buy something based on their current and short term needs instead of waiting for a device that possibly does something that they will never use…..  I wonder what would happen?

  • Roger Ramshit

    And make it even easier for companies like to Samsung ride on their coattails. I think Apples secrecy is the lesser of two evils. No point trying to boost quarterly profits for one quarter to hurt profits for the next three.

  • nicholasg1

    ““pervasive” iPhone rumors hurt Apple’s fiscal business.”
    Of course, when the company doesn’t deny or confirm the rumors, no one will  buy a phone that will be out of style in few months.
    Some interesting piece to read…

  • aga

    Serves Apple right for delaying the launch of the new product for months. If they had launched in the summer as usual, people would have bought then.

    I was waiting, now I will not buy iPhone 4S as planned. The reason is Siri is essentially not IN your phone, but connected to it. Since that cloud based service is not available in the UK, we don’t get it, making Siri useless. Since I use my iPhone as a communications device, not a games platform, the iPhone 4S offers me nothing I don’t already have.

  • Hmmm…

    Delaying!? There was no set launch day to be delayed from, so this comment makes no sense. Never has Apple said “we will launch a new iPhone each and every year at the same time…” This kind of comment is a perfect example of the rumour mill at work.

  • Bogie635

    Siri and iCloud ARE available in the UK.

    However, there are a few commands and functions (like traffic maps and restaurant lookups) that the UK version of Siri (with a male voice) doesn’t have. Fortunately, it’s an API based service, so they’ll probably add that functionality on the backend servers soon.

  • Al

    Yup. Maps and businesses coming to Siri next year apparently.

    I find Siri very useful here in the UK even without these features. It’s interesting to note how the only people saying “oh it’s useless in the UK coz theres no business lookups” are only those who, er, don’t own a 4S.