Apple Sales Miss Sets Stage: iPhone 5 vs. Windows Phone 8
Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Q3 2012 quarterly sales results missed expectations. Customers could be holding out for the rumored iPhone 5 launch this fall. Does that open the door for Microsoft and Windows Phone 8? Hmmm…
Apple’s stock fell about five percent this evening. The big reason: Apple sold 26 million iPhones in its quarter ended June 30, down sharply from the 35.1 million sold in the prior quarter this year, The Wall Street Journal noted.
Still, we’re not talking about a train wreck folks. Don’t forget: Apple quarterly revenue hit $35 billion, up 23 percent from the same quarter last year. Plus, Apple is succeeding in business. The company says the number of iPhones in the Fortune 500 has more than doubled in the past year.
Also, Apple sold over 17 million iPads in the quarter, compared to 9.2 million in the corresponding quarter last year.
Apple’s Biggest Competition: iPhone 5?
Despite those impressive numbers, rumors about an Apple iPhone 5 launch this fall apparently pressured current iPhone sales. CEO Tim Cook did not specifically confirm the next iPhone’s existence or target release date. Instead, he said during an earnings call: “We are very excited to be launching Mountain Lion tomorrow and iOS 6 in the fall, and we have some more amazing new products in our pipeline that we look forward to discussing with your later.”
Added Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, “Our weekly iPhone sales continue to be impacted by rumors and speculation regarding new products. We exited the June quarter in supply and demand balance and we were within our four to six week inventory target. We also don’t expect to add any significant new country or carrier additions in the September quarter.”
Here Comes Windows Phone 8?
Does the iPhone sales debate open the door for Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows Phone 8 release? Hmmm… Perhaps the anticipated iPhone 4 to iPhone 5 transition opens a small window of opportunity for Microsoft. If Apple misfires with the iPhone launch, perhaps Microsoft can pounce on the opportunity. Remember, coordinating hardware, software, cloud (iTunes, App Store) and telecom services is a tricky balancing act. Apple often makes all that look easy. But it ain’t.
So maybe Microsoft can make an upward move. And in many ways, Microsoft has nowhere to go but up.
Apple, Android Still Dominate
According to Gartner, here’s the worldwide market share for various smartphone operating systems in Q1 2012:
Here are Gartner’s figures for worldwide smartphone unit sales and market share in the first quarter of 2012, by operating system. Gartner’s second-quarter report is not yet out.
- Android (Google) — 81.1 million units, 56.1 percent share (36.4 percent a year earlier)
- iOS (Apple iPhone) — 33.1 million units, 22.9 percent share (16.9 percent a year earlier)
- Symbian — 12.5 million units, 8.6 percent share (27.7 percent a year earlier)
- BlackBerry (Research in Motion) — 9.9 million units, 6.9 percent share (13.0 percent a year earlier)
- Bada (Samsung Electronics Co.) — 3.8 million units, 2.7 percent share (1.9 percent a year earlier)
- Windows (Microsoft) — 2.7 million units, 1.9 percent share (2.6 percent a year earlier)
- Other — 1.2 million units, 0.9 percent share (1.5 percent a year earlier)
The Next Smartphone War
Here’s the irony: Apple shareholders aren’t happy today because iPhone sales growth seems to be slowing down. Chances are Microsoft envies Apple’s “problems.” Come this fall, Microsoft hopes to apply a little more pressure with Windows Phone 8. Will Apple be ready to counter with iPhone 5?