Apple Inc. (AAPL): Implications From NTT DoCoMo’s Results

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s fourth fiscal quarter results are due on Monday, and analysts are looking for clues everywhere they can. Stifel analyst Aaron C. Rakers and the rest of his team examined the results from NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s biggest carrier. This was the first year Apple launched its iPhone on the carrier’s network, and the carrier’s smartphone sales were very weak. Nonetheless, they see those week sales as a “non-event” for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Apple Inc. (AAPL): Implications From NTT DoCoMo’s Results

Apple’s iPhone supply not good at first

Like other carriers, NTT DoCoMo reported that supply was an issue in the early days of the iPhone launch. It activated about 2.97 million smartphones, a decline from 3.95 million in the same quarter a year ago and 3.35 million in the previous quarter. This was about 58.4% of all handsets activated, a decline from 62.2% in the previous quarter and 59.2% in the same quarter a year ago.

According to the Japanese carrier, inventory levels for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone were not able to keep up with demand. U.S. carriers AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) had said the same, especially for the iPhone 5S.

Apple’s iPhone inventory catches up

However, Stifel analysts don’t see this as a problem for Apple, particularly because carriers have indicated that inventory is beginning to catch up with supply for the iPhone. This should mean that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in a good position heading into the all-important holiday quarter. The new iPhones were only out for 10 days at the end of the September quarter.

Analysts are beginning to expect quite a bit from Apple in Monday’s earnings report, with some suggesting that the company might even beat its own guidance. As always, all eyes will be on the company Monday.

Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) declined 1 percent on Friday, falling below $530 per share to close out the trading week.