Saturation point reached? The iPhone 5 is not selling as expected/hoped

According to Nikkei and the WSJ, Apple slashed its orders for iPhone 5 parts. Japan Display, Sharp and LG reportedly saw their orders for iPhone screens cut  - from approximately 65 million to about half that.

After the news stories, Apple stock dipped below $ 500 yesterday, continuing a slide from over $ 700 in September.

Analysts have worried about Apple sales since the launch of the iPhone 5, which are felt to be disappointing. The official tally will be known at the end of this month, when Apple publishes its results for Q4.

Analysts explain Apple’s sales slump on the saturated smartphone market in the mature markets, where the company makes most of its profits. This in turn started rumours of a “cheaper iPhone”, which would be aimed more at the emerging markets. (Apple denies having such plans, but of course they also denied plans for an iPad Mini until they unveiled it).

If the smartphone wars move to the emerging markets, it should become interesting. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has always said that it’s his vision to bring smartphones to “the next billion users” in the emerging markets.

Meanwhile, Samsung reported yesterday that it had sold 100 million smartphones last quarter, and RIM stock profited from Apple’s bad news. Apparently, some investors hope that RIM will get some oxygen if the Apple engine falters.

via Les Echos

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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