Apple's real iPhone 5 ace: Its supply chain

Apple's real iPhone 5 ace: Its supply chain

Summary: Apple's iPhone 5 didn't serve up many surprises, but analysts were impressed that the company is able to manage its supply chain and deliver some aggressive launch dates.


Apple's didn't surprise too many observers with its iPhone 5 features, specs and pricing, but one shocker to analysts was how fast the company could ramp its rollout.


Going into the iPhone 5 announcement, analysts expected supply shortages and other constraints. Instead, Apple delivered an aggressive cadence.

To wit:

  • Sept. 12: Apple announces the iPhone 5.
  • Sept. 14: Preorders start.
  • Sept. 21: iPhone 5 ships in U.S., U.K. Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
  • Sept. 28: 20 more countries get the iPhone 5.
  • Year end: 100 countries and 240 carriers will have the iPhone 5.

Now contrast Apple's announcement with other phone launches. Nokia couldn't even give a date for its latest Lumia device with Windows Phone 8.

"We are pleased with the pace of this iPhone’s rollout, which should help drive sales from the end of the September quarter and into the holiday season. We are very surprised Apple can launch this fast since we had expected major constraints," said Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes.

Also: All ZDNet iPhone coverage | All CNET iPhone coverage | Techmeme | Apple statement | Apple unveils the iPhone 5 (photos) | I miss Apple's reality distortion field

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said:

We are raising our September iPhone estimates from 22 million to 27.2 million units given the confirmation of the iPhone 5 launch on September 21. As we have previously noted, we believe Apple could sell between 6-10 million iPhone 5s by the end of September.

It's likely that the iPhone 5 will sell out, but Apple appears to have accounted for any supply issues. Apple's aggressive global rollout indicates that its supply chain and procurement knowhow is unmatched. Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore noted:

Overall, the new hardware appears desirable but did not provide any upside surprises on features. That said, a fast geographic ramp (9 countries on Sept 21; another 29 by end of month) and 100 countries on 240 carriers by year end suggests Apple is confident in the availability of supply. We expect significant volume shipments in Sept and stockouts appear likely due to the meaningful refresh (simultaneous form factor and LTE upgrade) and bias near-term iPhone led upside in the September quarter.


Apple's iPhone 5 revealed: roundup

iPhone 5 faces bleak outlook in China

Apple's iPhone 5: Winners and losers

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone, Smartphones

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  • Apple should send a big thank you to Samsung

    Considering much of the iPhone IS a Samsung product.
    • You have that backwards Toddy

      Samsung should thank Apple considering how much of the G3 IS an Apple product.
      • This should read...

        Athynz lays the smackdown on toddbottom3!
      • I have proof

        Simple teardowns show exactly how much of an iPhone is actually a Samsung product.

        Where is your proof that the G3 has any Apple components in it?
  • Again

    After reading some of your post, I think you are too bored with the iPhone. Apple is a software and design company, they know only to play with aluminium and Samsung is an engineering company, both are excelling in what they are best at, it is only because of some biased users this kind of rubbish argument about who is best, who is most innovative arises.

    Are you thinking apple just sits coolly and worry only about $ and the rest of the work is taken care by their supply chain.
  • Apple's real iPhone 5 ace: Its supply chain ...emmm

    I've been waiting for someone to spin some positive out. Now it's official - the supply chain is ithe ace and not iPhone. Quite ineresting. What happens to the large screen, faster processor, LTE and ... now I can't remember the last feature. Or are there any more???
  • Seriously?

    Are we going to post that the ACE is the Supply Chain every time that Apple releases a new product? I have bad news for you, if that is your only ACE then you don't have a winning product regardless of how well it sells!
    • confused

      "you don't have a winning product regardless of how well it sells!"

      Actually you do if it sells well:-)
      Richard Flude
  • Apple's real iPhone 5 ace: Its supply chain

    The only good thing about the iPhone 5 you can come up with is the supply chain. That doesn't give high hopes of this new phone.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • Why does anybody still quote Gene Munster?

    Has he been right on anything Apple related lately?
    William Farrel
  • A Supply Chain That Is Rather Crucially Dependent ...

    ... on companies that also make competing products.

    Anyone for a replay of Montgomery versus Rommel?