Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is one of the most secretive companies on the planet, and right now there are two areas in which the company’s secrecy is coming back to bite it. For some reason, the company won’t tell us how many iPhone 5Cs it has sold on preorder so far. In addition, there are still many questions surrounding the 64-bit chips in the iPhone 5S.
Apple keeps silent on the 64-bit chip
Daniel Eran Dilger of Apple Insider suggests that questions about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s 64-bit iPhone 5S chips may have prompted “spurious” downgrades of the company’s stock. He notes that not only has the leap into a 64-bit ARM-based chip caused “confusion and misinformation,” but Apple’s secrecy about that chip “may also have fooled analysts into slashing their sales expectations and downgrading the company’s stock targets.”
He notes that Apple still hasn’t released many details about the A7 chip, like what CPU cores it uses, how many CPU cores it uses and what GPU cores the chip uses. He also said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not said which company is fabricating the A7 chip, although reports have previously pointed to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM) as being the maker rather than Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), which had been making Apple’s chips in the past.
Interpreting Apple’s supply chain
Dilger reminds us of a report earlier this year from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, who said his inventory checks suggested that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s wafer chip starts had been cut at Samsung. At the time, Misek suggested to investors that the wafer chip cuts meant that Apple was slashing its iPhone build plan. However, Dilger suggests that the cuts Misek picked up on in his supply chain checks were not because Apple was cutting build plans, but rather, because it was having some other vendor make chips that Misek’s contacts didn’t know anything about.
Misek joined analysts at numerous other firms in decrying Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s new iPhones, particularly the iPhone 5C, which is more expensive than they were expecting. And the company doesn’t even get credit for protecting margins on the handset, which is another thing analysts had been worried about previously.
Apple keeps quiet about iPhone 5C demand
Now that we’re almost a week into the iPhone 5C preorders, another topic of scrutiny has been exactly the number of preorders Apple has received. The company’s stock fell 3 percent on Monday as investors worried that Apple’s secrecy on the topic means bad news.
The company did announce preorder numbers in each of the last three iPhone launches, but this year we don’t know why Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) isn’t releasing the preorder numbers for the iPhone 5C. It is worth noting that this is the first year the company is launching two handsets at the same time. The company has said it won’t take preorders for the iPhone 5S, possibly because availability will be limited in the beginning. Neil Hughes of Apple Insider reports that so far, there appears to be plenty of iPhone 5C handsets to go around. The only place where Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) appears to have run out of stock for preorder is the SIM-free unlocked iPhone 5C models.