iPad mini demand outstripping supply but Mac demand light, says analyst

iPad mini demand outstripping supply but Mac demand light, says analyst

Summary: Analysts suggest that iPad and iPad mini sales are cannibalizing Mac sales and resulting in weak demand. iPhone continues to be Apple's flagship product.


While Apple hasn't provided numbers regarding iPad mini sales, one analyst believes that demand for the petite tablet is outstripping supply.

According to Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, supply chain checks show that demand for the 7.9-inch iPad mini is stronger than Apple has anticipated, and that this is putting a strain on the supply chain. In turn, this is keeping lead times for the tablet at 2 weeks during the all important run up to the holidays.

Will this supply chain kink put a crimp on sales? Wu doesn't think so, and is leaving the iPad unit forecast unchanged at 25 million units.

Last quarter Apple sold 14 million iPads.

Things are different on the Mac front. Wu reports that Mac demand is light likely due to late availability of the new iMac due to manufacturing yields, but also to the iPad and iPad mini cannibalizing sales.

With this in mind, Wu is reducing the Mac outlook from 5.1 million to 5 million. Not a huge cut, but this is below the analyst consensus for Mac sales, which is in the region of 5.2-5.3 million.

Apple's flagship product continues to be the iPhone. According to Wu, lead times on iPhone 5 have fallen from the 3-4 weeks at the time the product was launched to around 2-4 days despite demand remaining strong.

See also: How Apple makes products difficult -- and expensive -- to repair

Wu predicts that this will be a strong quarter for iPhone sales, forecasting sales in the region of 47.3 million, which would make it the iPhone's best quarter yet.

Factoring all this together, Wu is predicting that Apple will pull in $54.6 billion in revenue and $13.70 in earnings per share for the quarter, which will mean that for the entire financial year Apple will have seen a total of $193.4 billion in revenue.

Image source: Apple.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Smartphones, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • My mom says

    that the tablet I produce, the Banana 2000, is seriously outstripping the supply chain estimates and therefore people should invest in my company through her investment firm. It isn't like she has any skin in the game or that I haven't released any solid numbers (I like to keep my success a secret).

    Don't forget our slogan: "Banana tablets with Windows for Pen Computing, the future of 20 year old technology."
    • They always release their numbers

      They release their numbers every quarter unlike samsung or amazon. Their p/e ratio is among the lowest on the market. so your comment is stupid and uneducated.
      new gawker
  • Can't outstripping supply mean

    that they didn't make enough parts to begin with?
    William Farrel
  • I wonder what the ratio of content providers : counsumers is?

  • I wonder what the ratio of content providers : consumers is?

  • LOL


    I laughed at all the "nobody wants an iPad mini" articles on Zdnet when they were posted. Here's the validation. As the happy owner of a 7" Android tablet the benefits of a smaller device were readily apparent to me.
    • Not only Zdnet, but Jobs and many Apple faithful were a skeptical...

      But someone in Cupertino wasn't listening. Good for us all. Competition is a good thing.

      Clearly there's a market for tablets smaller than 10". Is the experience "magical"?

      I'll leave that to the people that actually own 7" or 8" tablets. I've held them and they are certainly useable, more portable than a 10" tablet and much easier to consume on than the typical smart phone.

      Even if OP is correct and the Apple tablets cannibalize a bit of the Mac market this Christmas, it may still lead to more demand down the road.
      • Magical?

        I've held the iPad mini and played with it in a couple of stores. Is it magical? I dunno. But it's pretty darned nice. If I were going to make the switch from Android to iOS I have no doubt that that would be my first tablet device.
  • 14 million ipads sold...

    But how many potential ipad sales will be Mini sales? - If the mini does well, Apple will loose profit. $170 less for every ipad Mini sold. Apple is just desperate to jump on the 7" band wagon even it means cannibalizing ipad sales.

    The down side of the Mini is it's less than spectacular display resolution. And in that marketing photo that guy must have huge hands because it is much more difficult to hold in one hand than the Nexus 7.
    Mike Conners