Or, is it? What would be the signs of impending problems with Apple’s cache? If Apple fails to meet their own financial projections, that would be a sign, right? Anything else? Yes.
Run For The Hills!
Apple’s products typically command a premium price because they’re higher quality than competing products, whether desktops, notebooks, smart phones, or tablets.
The company’s product margins are the envy of the industry. When it comes to personal computing devices, who makes more money than Apple?
Customers line up to buy the latest and greatest. New products are met with immediate back orders which test our patience.
Why is it that various Apple retailers are discounting Apple products? That’s right. Discounts. Is that a sign of the holiday shopping spirit, or a sign of changes ahead?
Walmart is selling the 16GB iPhone 5 for $127. That’s a healthy discount. Select iPads are discounted $100 (and that’s with a $30 iTunes gift card tossed in).
What’s going on? Has Apple’s supply finally met and perhaps exceeded demand? The company just launched the iPhone 5 in China. No lines. That’s partly because of problems in the past, and Apple’s new and improved reservation system.
However, they sold 2-million iPhone 5s in the first few days after launch. 2-million. That means that Apple had 2-million iPhone 5s to sell.
Supply, meet demand.
AT&T also discounted a few Apple products, including the iPad (with a two-year contract). Instead of stock market analysts touting Apple’s profitability and strong financials, many are actually lowering stock price targets (and one is less than $300).
On one hand it seems as if stock market analysts want to have it both ways.
One says Apple must have a cheaper iPhone. When the iPhone becomes heavily discounted, another analysts sees that as a disturbing sign that Apple risks losing its premium brand cache, and is becoming a purveyor of pedestrian products (what’s more pedestrian than a discounted product at Walmart?).
Are these discounts and market rumblings a sign of bad times ahead for Apple? Walmart’s discount isn’t much as a percentage of the iPhone 5’s real costs, but if this trend continues then it’s clear that Apple’s supply is exceeding demand.