Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Caso tells clients — as reported by “Barron’s” (http://macte.ch/62K0C) — there have been iPhone production cuts as other reports have mentioned. However, he warns against overreacting.
Based on a round of proprietary supply chain checks to update our production forecasts, Case says: “While it is a fluid situation, we believe iPhone 4S production has been reduced by ~4 mln units in 4Q (we were expecting 26 mln-28 mln iPhone 4S units to be produced in 4Q). Our checks suggest that these changes are push-outs to 1Q rather than outright cancellations – however, since the 1Q production forecast has not been fully determined, we simply can’t say for sure. Anecdotal commentary from our checks leads us to believe these cuts are more likely due to supply constraints (possibly resulting from Thailand-related bottlenecks) as opposed to demand issues — but we frankly don’t have enough information to make that determination at the moment.
The analyst says a lower forecast of 28 million to 32 million iPhones produced this quarter would still be a “strong” increase from 25 million in Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter. He had been forecasting 32 million to 36 million units.