I caught this stimulating piece of analysis via StrategyEye this morning.
Apple may sell ‘only’ 7.9m iPhones this year, more than 20% below its target of 10m, warns Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, quoted in Barron’s. Sacconaghi’s estimates are based on sales of the iPhone for Dec, when Apple sold about 180,000 iPhones per week. They also take into account seasonal factors and “particularly disappointing” European sales, where the iPhone is available in France, Germany and the UK. Sacconaghi is not the only one to cast doubts over iPhone sales. Overall, analysts identify two challenges: a demand that has failed to meet expectations, and the problem of unlocked iPhones, which are preventing Apple to cash in from revenue-sharing deals with network providers.
I think it’s possible Apple might manage to convert the huge demand for the iPhone into reality. Whether they’ll make the 10 million target set my Mr Jobs….? Well, it’s possible now that it’s reasonably easy (think ‘one-click’) to unlock your iPhone. It’s still quite a steep price to pay for a lot of consumers though, particularly when they’re being courted by mobile operators handing out ‘free’ top of the range Nokias and Sony Ericssons.
I reckon Apple will, kicking and screaming, make the 10m target. There’s enough demand from people who will, eventually and ever-so-grudgingly, hand over the dosh for a device (with quite a lot unlocking them as soon as possible).