From a note to clients by analyst Chris Caso that landed on my desktop Thursday:
This morning, a Bloomberg article is indicating that Apple has notified suppliers that iPhone demand has slowed. We offer some thoughts.
The nature of the article is much more ambiguous than typical Apple supply chain reports. Historically, the best gauge of demand has been the production forecast, and whether that forecast is increasing or decreasing. The article doesn’t mention changes to the production forecast, but only that Apple has reportedly told suppliers that demand had slowed, which is a more ambiguous statement.
Our own checks haven’t uncovered significant changes thus far. Given the supply constraints facing Apple at the start of the quarter, it would certainly be surprising if Apple were to cut production, and we would view production cuts as a negative read on demand. That’s however not what this article appears to say…
Net – given the evidence from delivery times and carrier subsidies, we’re not ready to agree with the conclusion in the Bloomberg article.
My take: Wu et al. may have stepped in some holiday bullpucky.