Apple Inc. (AAPL) Off To Impressive Start In Holiday Sales: Barclays

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Apple Inc. (AAPL) Off To Impressive Start In Holiday Sales: Barclays

According to a report from Barclays, the sale of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s offering is picking up heading into December, backed by increased availability of and demand for iPhones and iPad minis. In a survey done by Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) (NYSE:BCS) of Apple’s stores nationally, it was found “a surge in availability for the iPhone 5 and iPad mini – with shipments arriving late Wednesday for most stores”. The demand for iPhone was very attractive, over the long weekend, despite no promotional offer on iPhone, as was done with 9.7” iPads, iPods, and MacBooks. The customers were impressed with a special checkout line to accommodate iPhone 5 at some stores. Also, the promotional activity by competing devices like Galaxy SIII did not “not slow iPhone 5 demands at retail partners, at least over this specific weekend”. Even among the versions of iPhone, report states that demand is strong for the 16GB and 32GB versions, not the 64GB version.

Factoring the increased the availability, the report believes that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may exceed the fourth quarter estimates of 43.5 million iPhone unit sales. For the fourth quarter, the report concludes Apple could beat its estimates of 21.2 million iPads, including 6.5 million iPad minis, “with possible upside in the mini figure only”. For the quarter ending in March, the report expects iPhone unit sales of 43.5 million. The checks with the “supply chain and with our colleagues in Asia indicate that Apple’s production of the iPhone 5 could even support unit sales of over 50M this quarter”. Despite signs of improved availability of the iPad mini, the report expects a constrained supply into the March quarter. For the December Quarter, the report believes the supply chain can produce at least 8 million units.

Macs did not receive significant interest when compared to the demand for iPads and the iPhone 5, and mobile products from Samsung. Though, some sales might have picked up by Apple’s $101 discount on MacBooks, including the newly released MacBook pro with retina display, “but not more than expected”. Even after the discount, the new MacBooks were still quite expensive. About the new iMac, the report said, “We also note that the newly refreshed iMac was still not available – leading to minimal customer activity”.

In data released by International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) from its Smarter Commerce initiative, this weekend, it revealed that 24 percent of consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s website, compared to 14.3 percent last year. The data backed Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s claim that iPad is “clearly the leading tablet for Internet use, calling into question what other tablets are being used for as over 88% of tablet traffic for shopping on Black Friday came from an iPad”.

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