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

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.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

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.

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