Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu issued his latest expectations for Apple on Wednesday morning, in which he said that supply constraints on the iPad mini and cannibalization of the larger, more expensive fourth generation iPad could ultimately hurt sales this quarter. Thankfully, however, Wu says that Apple’s iPhone 5 supply continues to improve ahead of the holiday season, and he’s raising his forecast to 47.5 million units from 47.3 million units.
The supply and cannibalization of the iPad has pushed Wu to drop his iPad estimates to 23.5 million units, from 25 million, although the general Street consensus is that Apple will move 23 – 24 million units.
“We continue to pick up improving yields and availability of iPhone 5 and thus improving profitability,” Wu said in his note. “As we said before (see our 12/04/12 note), this is due, in part, in preparation for a broader global launch in China, Brazil, Russia, Taiwan, and more than 50 other countries this Friday, December 14. iPad mini demand remains strong but shipments appear limited by supply constraints. On the other hand, build plans for iPad appear to have been reduced likely due to some cannibalization by iPad mini.”