The Strange Math of Apple’s Purported Massive iPhone 5 Component Cuts

Tero Kuittinen, writing for BGR, says exactly what I thought when I saw the WSJ’s story last night:

So if the most likely number of 4-inch screens Apple is reasonably expected to sell in March quarter is around 30 to 40 million units, why did Nikkei publish a report stating that Apple had halved its display orders for the quarter from 65 million units? Nikkei was quite specific about the 65 million number. And it clearly tied it to iPhone 5 component orders, not total iPhone or iPhone 5 and iPod touch orders.

In what world did Apple expect to order components for 65 million iPhone 5 handsets in the seasonally soft March quarter?

Perhaps the weirdness of the math is why the current version of the WSJ article no longer cites the 65 million unit figure. Sometime between Sunday at 8:00 p.m. EST and Monday at 7:00 a.m., the Journal decided to drop the number from its article. But if the 65 million number is not right, is the estimate for halving March orders correct, either?

The reports claiming 65 million displays for next quarter make little sense; the reports that claim component orders have been “halved” but without any specific numbers can’t be verified three months from now when Apple reports its actual iPhone sales for the coming quarter. In the meantime, of course, Apple’s stock took a beating today on these reports. If you don’t smell stock manipulation here, I have a bridge to sell you.

Monday, 14 January 2013