- Apple shied away from issuing next-quarter guidance on Thursday.
- The company’s iPhone 12 launch comes at an uncertain time.
- According to one pro, Apple may still be working through supply chain issues.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reported Thursday afternoon fiscal fourth quarter results that may have disappointed investors but the company was given a pass because the complete iPhone 12 launch is just around the corner. But in a less forgiving move, Apple shied away from issuing any forward looking guidance.
Taking a look back at Apple’s similar fiscal fourth quarter last year, the earnings report benefited from the launch of the then-new iPhone 11, Daring Fireball founder John Gruber said on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.” Specifically, all of the different iPhone 11 models were released on Sept. 20 and the 10 days of selling before the end of the quarter can contribute a big impact to Apple’s financial performance.
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Here is a full recap of Apple’s Thursday earnings report.
But this year not one of the new iPhone 12 models was launched before the end of the fiscal quarter.
Apple may have forgone issuing guidance because the new iPhone Mini and Pro won’t go on sale until Nov. 6, he said. Coupled with uncertainty if Apple can manufacture enough phones to keep up with pent-up demand, the company passed on providing any outlook.
Meanwhile, Apple’s global supply chain remains a “question mark” amid rising COVID-19 infection rates in certain parts of the world. The reason to suspect underlying issues is based on the fact that the Apple Watch is sold out through December so there is a valid reason not to believe the company is operating at 100%.
Apple may not even know themselves how many new iPhone devices it can physically manufacture and sell in the quarter, Gruber said. The company may not even know the sales mix of demand.
Also, Apple’s new iPhone 12 boasts 5G technology but for many people, it could be useless as it is up to the individual networks to provide their customers with 5G service. The next-generation 5G network rollout over the years is a catalyst to help lift demand for new devices over the years.
Growth story from Google
Heading into Apple’s earnings report, it was revealed that around 20% of Apple’s Services business comes from Google alone. Google pays Apple several billion dollars annually so that its search engine is the default option in Apple devices.
Recent regulatory issues with Google adds another layer of uncertainty to Apple’s outlook, Gruber said. It is hard to determine if the deal will be put to an end via the U.S. Department of Justice.
A realistic outcome would be Apple presenting its users with several search options to choose from before they can pick Google, he said.