Prior to Q2 2018, the financial market makers and media once again painted a doom-and-gloom picture for Apple. Then, when earnings came out, Apple once again proved them to be wrong. So, what, are they just terrible at their jobs?
Former Apple executive and Be founder, Jean-Louis Gassée, writing for his weekly column, Monday Note:
Great opening. Gassée also gives an example of why, as Tim Cook has previously pointed out, using supplier reports as a way to divine Apple's product orders or production levels isn't possible or wise:
Apple could be reducing orders because they bought more than enough when the price was lower, or because they switched to a different supplier, or for other reasons.
Analysts could have been deceived because Apple purchased components early aggressively and then cut orders abruptly. The evidence is in inventories rising. This may have been strategic: denying competitor access to capacity; or an error.Analysts could have been deceived because Apple purchased components early aggressively and then cut orders abruptly. The evidence is in inventories rising. This may have been strategic: denying competitor access to capacity; or an error.— Horace Dediu (@asymco) May 4, 2018May 4, 2018
I don't entirely buy this rationale, though, and precisely because everyone from Tim Cook to Horace Dediu have explained it — in some cases repeatedly — following previous quarters. If I'm familiar with it, you can bet analysts whose job it is to cover Apple are familiar with it. In other words, they should know those reports are likely meaningless and report them in that historical context. Instead, they report them as disaster.
That's why I have another theory as well.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.