Jeffrey Fidacaro of Susquehanna financial took a moment to talk about the iPhone 4S and the iPad 3. Of course he said that the preliminary iPhone orders for Q1 2012 are looking good, but we all saw that and Apple kindly reminded us all yesterday that the iPhone 4S had sold like hotcakes over its first weekend.
Fidacaro believes that the iPhone sales for the quarter across all models will be around 32 to 36 million for the quarter. As far as the iPad goes, he thinks Apple will reach 13 million for the quarter.
He also believes that Apple stocked up on some iPads for two reasons: 1) They want to prepare for the holidays 2) Apple wants to clear out iPad 2 inventory to prepare for the iPad 3:
We believe AAPL pulled production forward to ensure sufficient availability of iPad during the holidays, and such a move is consistent with a production decline in advance of the new model launch (we believe iPad 3 starts production in 4Q, as noted below). Thus, we believe that recent competitor reports, which only noted the 4Q production volumes two weeks ago, were misinformed. iPad 3 appears on the forecast for 4Q production start. Our checks indicate that iPad 3 has now shown up on AAPL’s production forecast for a late-4Q production start. We believe 0.6 mln-1 mln units are forecasted for 4Q production.
Apple may very well begin production on the iPad 3 in the next quarter, so that they can begin filling out orders in time for a launch during the first three to four months of 2012.