In a note to clients — as reported by “CNET” (http://tinyurl.com/aj59llz) — Citi analyst Glen Yeung thinks consumer interest in the iPhone 5 and iPad may be waning. He bases his assumption on a lower demand for parts.
“In conducting our regular field work with the hardware supply chain, we again find evidence of reduced demand to Apple’s suppliers for iPhone 5 related components,” Yeung says. “While production does not directly translate to sales (for example, we estimate Apple finished 1Q13 (Dec) with [around] 10M iPhone units in inventory), we suspect this is an indication of softer demand for iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S.”
As a result, Yeung has lowered his iPhone unit sales estimates for the current quarter to 34 million from 35 million. Wall Street is eyeing around 37 million in sales, notes “CNET.” Yeung’s June quarter estimate remains the same at 25 million, which is below Wall Street’s consensus of 32 million.
The Citi analyst does hint that the reduced supplier orders could be a result of Apple clearing iPhone 5 inventory ahead of the launch of the iPhone 5S. However, Yeung only expects around 3-4 4 million iPhone 5S handsets to be built during the June quarter.