Apple sells 9 million iPhones--but that doesn't quiet skeptics

09/23/2013 5:33 pm EST


Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor,

Apple (AAPL) sold a record 9 million iPhones in the weekend debut of the iPhone 5S and 5C models. That was way above the most pessimistic estimates from analysts of 5 million units but also blew away optimistic Wall Street estimates of 6.5 to 7.75 million units.

And that has led the company to tell Wall Street it expects total revenue for the quarter (the fourth quarter of Apple’s fiscal year) that ends on September 30 to come in at the high end of its earlier guidance of $34 million to $37 million in revenue. Gross margins, Apple said, will be near the high end of a range of 36% to 37%.

The stock closed up 4.97% today. (Apple is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio )

But that hasn’t quieted the skeptics—nor should it. Apple still has to demonstrate that it can meet demand for the 5S that led it to sell out in many stores over the weekend in time to meet the end of the quarter and in a way that doesn’t damp overall sales momentum. And we still don’t have numbers on sales of the cheaper 5C that tell us much of anything about how that model will sell against competing Android phones. With the 5C likely to appeal to current Android users, if it appeals to anyone, who have annual or two-year contracts on their existing phones, it will take a while before we know how much market share the 5C can claw back

The gold 5S has emerged has a big seller, which could hurt Apple’s revenue numbers for the September quarter. AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ), for example, had said they won’t be able to ship gold iPhones until October. That might well cut into the revenue that Apple can claim for the period.

In other positive news for Apple, the company said that users had downloaded the new iOS 7 mobile operating system onto 200 million devices since September 18. That’s twice the number in last year’s operating system upgrade.

Full disclosure: I don’t own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this post in my personal portfolio. When in 2010 I started the mutual fund I manage, Jubak Global Equity Fund, I liquidated all my individual stock holdings and put the money into the fund. The fund may or may not now own positions in any stock mentioned in this post. The fund did own shares of Apple as of the end of June. For a full list of the stocks in the fund as of the end of June see the fund’s portfolio at
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