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Apple expects 'all-time' iPhone high, may cede Q3 to Samsung

updated 06:05 pm EDT, Tue October 18, 2011

iPhone sales sink in Q3 2011 as share shifts

Apple in its latest results revealed a rare if minor disappointment in its iPhone shipments that could see it drop its lead in smartphones for a quarter but a possible record in the next. The company's 17.07 million iPhones were a 21 percent climb over last summer but were a 16 percent drop from where they were in the spring. No explanation was given for the sequential drop, although it likely reflects some customers holding off ahead of the iPhone 4S, which just shipped last week.

The drop had been partly expected. Historically, Apple has usually seen iPhone sales level off or decline right before a new model arrives, either in the quarter just before or in the same quarter if it launches towards the end. Many analysts had interpreted the iPhone 4's ability to avoid seasonal slumps as a possible sign that Apple would break the pattern for the upgrade cycle as well.

A summer decline won't necessarily be a major setback for Apple. The company during its results call said it had expected a decline and pinned it on "speculation" as customers saw the plans for iOS 5 in the fall as a cue to wait for a new iPhone. CEO Tim Cook promised that it would bounce back and expected Apple to set an "all-time" record for sales in the fall now that the iPhone 4S was available.

It still comes as Samsung was optimistic about its performance for its summer results, owed mostly to smartphones. The Korean firm has seen much faster growth from the Galaxy S II than its predecessor and is still in mid-cycle, with no expectation of a replacement until early to mid 2012.

Apple may have the advantage of timing for the fall, since its iPhone 4S debut came just as Samsung was releasing the Galaxy S II in the US. New iPhones have typically overshadowed other product launches, and Sprint has become an iPhone carrier for the first time, eliminating a safe haven that Samsung has often used in the US for phones like the Epic 4G.

By Electronista Staff


    Comment buried. Show
  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008



    Samsung is easily outpacing Apple in the Smartphone business. It's downhill for sure as Samsung Galaxy is far more superior than Apple. The sales show it. 30 million.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    Why so many -

    Why all the negative votes? The writing is on the wall. Samsung announce that news a couple of days ago. Look its even worse now. JMP's Gauna says Apple hit its peak and it's peak momentum. I'm thinking its just downhill from now.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008


    Aah, yes...soothsayers & sages

    Always knowing what collapse is going to happen next to Apple. And just like the impudent Michael Dell, you'll be misconstruing your own comments in 10 years because you were so terribly wrong.


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