On Tuesday Apple reported selling a record number of Macs and iPads. However, the company’s stock dropped because Apple “only” sold 17 million iPhones, less than the 20-22 million units Wall Street pundits had predicted.

Does that make sense? Of course not. And let’s be clear: iPhone sales were up 21% year-over-year. Despite this, Apple’s stock fell more than US$28, or almost 7%. Brian Marshall, an analyst with the International Strategy and Investment Group was correct when he called this a “knee jerk” reaction.”

“The question everyone’s asking is, ‘What happened to three-to-four million iPhones?’ ” Marshall told “Computerworld” (http://macte.ch/IQIUS). “The problem is that this update was delayed by several months, and exacerbated the transition to the iPhone 4S. Is their share declining? No that the sales that would have otherwise been in the third quarter simply shifted into the current period, with the iPhone 4S.”

Another analyst, Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research, echoed Marshall.
“My first thought when I heard the four million [iPhone 4Ss] sold was: well, those were four million they didn’t sell last quarter,” he told “Computerworld.” “They were just deferred sales, pent-up demand.”

With that in mind, I can only ponder my wife’s question when she that Apple’s stock went down after another great fiscal quarter: “Who are these Wall Street analysts? And how do they get their jobs?”

When I find out, maybe I’ll become a Wall Street pundit, too.

— Dennis Sellers