Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares plunged up to 2% in mere minutes this afternoon, following a report that initial iPhone 7 sales could be much lower than anticipated.
Market research firm GfK published a note today that according to its findings, launch weekend iPhone unit sales were down 25% from last year. That report is in stark contrast to recent notes from wireless carriers claiming the exact opposite — that iPhone pre-orders had broken all previous records.
It’s unclear why there’s such a discrepancy in the two reports, but some more news is out on the bearish side from the Digitimes, which claims chip orders for the iPhone 7 will fall considerably in Q1:
Chip orders placed for the iPhone 7/7 Plus will likely fall about 20% sequentially in the first quarter of 2017, according to an estimate made by analog chip suppliers.
Apple has requested its manufacturing partners stock ICs for a combined 50 million iPhone 7/7 Plus units in the third quarter of 2016, and another 45 million units in the fourth quarter, according to sources at analog chip firms. The estimated volume for the first quarter of 2017 has reduced to 35-37 million units, said the sources.
This is quite a change from earlier chipmaker reports as well:
Previous reports quoted industry sources saying chip orders placed for the iPhone 7/7 Plus thus far for 2016 have been higher than previously estimated. In fact, Apple has set a goal of having its manufacturing partners make nearly 100 million iPhone 7/7 Plus devices by the end of 2016, higher than its suppliers’ earlier prediction of 80-85 million units.
Don’t expect to hear any official word from Apple regarding iPhone sales any time soon — the company recently said it would no longer release early iPhone sales numbers as it had done in previous generations. Investors will simply have to wait until the company’s next earnings report, which should fall on or around Oct. 25, to clear things up.
Apple shares fell $2.05 (-1.79%) to $112.57 in afternoon trading Friday, off slightly from their daily lows. Year-to-date, AAPL has risen 6.94%.