Following yesterday's Apple earnings report, the tech press can't decide what to make of consumer demand for iProducts. "Demand Woes Bite Apple," declares one major newspaper, when another writes "Apple Tops Expectations on Strong iPhone Sales." So, which one is it? Further investigation doesn't provide much enlightenment:
There is a pattern, though. Maybe iPhones are selling well, but everything else isn't? Nope:
- iPhone sales set new record for quarter while iPad sales slow
- No, the market for Apple’s tablet isn’t reaching saturation point
Digging into the articles doesn't gives us a definitive answer either. The running narrative is that iPhone sales were strong, since Apple sold 31.2 million phones this quarter, up from 26 million one a year earlier. But then we get this from The Wall Street Journal's Ian Sherr. "Apple and its rivals have faced increasing concern that the consumer electronics industry's boom over the past few years has started to slow," he writes. "That phenomenon was evident in Apple's latest quarter, when it sold 20 percent more iPhones than a year earlier, but more customers opted for cheaper models."
Later down, The Journal couches that claim with a quote from famed Apple analyst Gene Munster. "This is a tired product, it's been out three quarters. That says something," he said, suggesting the sales numbers are pretty good considering. "What it comes down to is people spend a ton of time on their phone, and they're willing to spend a little more for the quality." Earlier didn't we learn that many of Apple's phone sales went not to the 5 but older models, proving people are only willing to spend so much for new phones?
During news events like these, in which everyone has access to the exact same financial statements of a big company everyone needs to find their own way of tackling the news. And, the third quarter earnings report of a company that hasn't released a product all year isn't really going to say much. But, that doesn't mean reading into it is the way to go. iMore's take says it best: "It's a lull in the product cycle and we know it, but Apple's doing fine."