Analysts debate iPhone sales, but they’re stagnant either way

apple iphone 5s

When you think of iPhone, the first thing you might think of it how many have been sold. While we think sales of the iPhone have peaked, there’s no arguing the success the iPhone has had. While Brian Blair of analysis firm Wedge Partners agrees with us, he painted a bleaker picture of iPhone sales, saying that Apple will have a bad first quarter of 2014 in part due to soft iPhone sales. Morgan Stanley, on the other hand, does not agree with Blair.

According to Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty, Apple will ship 42 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2014 (Apple’s fiscal Q2). This runs counter to supply chain analysis, which predicted 38 million. To arrive at that number, Huberty used Morgan Stanley’s AlphaWise Smartphone Tracker, which uses Web search analysis to arrive at an estimate. While this method sounds extremely questionable, it actually proved to be more accurate than the Wall Street consensus estimates in three of the last four quarters.

AlphaWise Smartphone Tracker

According to Huberty, her prediction is based on U.S. carriers changing their policies, which could increase consumer demand, as well as retailers like Best Buy and Walmart running sales on the iPhone 5S and 5C. We will have to wait until late April, when Apple will expectedly reports its fiscal Q2 numbers, to see if Huberty ends up being correct.

If the 38 million predicted by Wall Street seems like a low number, you’re not alone. While the holiday quarters usually rake in the highest number of sales, the quarters following them are usually meager, relatively speaking. Even with the high sales numbers, though, iOS’ market share is not getting any bigger. While 42 million is a huge number in its own right, you have to think that Wall Street will have exceedingly high expectations this year, when Apple is rumored to release a big-screened iPhone 6 and iWatch.


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