Did you know Apple pre-announced its iPad sales?
Just kidding. It does not.
And yet! Several sites are using an analyst’s estimated split of iPad and iPad mini sales in 2013 to say that Apple is totally surprised that it could end up selling more of the lower-margin mini than it is the higher-margin full-size tablet.
The report the stories are using is from DisplaySearch. The full quote from DisplaySearch’s David Hseih is this:
Apple had planned to sell 40M iPad minis (7.9”) and 60M iPads (9.7”) in 2013. However, the reality seems to be the reverse, as the iPad mini has been more popular than the iPad. We now understand that Apple may be planning to sell 55M iPad minis (7.9”) and 33M iPads (9.7”) in 2013.
That’s great. Only one problem: Apple never announced any such plans of any sort. I’m sure that Apple planned to sell a certain amount of both models, but it never reveals those estimates publicly. In fact, it has become even more conservative in its forecast reporting in an endeavor to halt projection inflation.
DisplaySearch estimated those numbers from what it saw as a shift in a specific split of component orders. In fact, these estimates based on a single component (TFT LCDs).
Apple CEO Tim Cook, obliquely referencing rumors of the iPhone 5 slowing production based on a single component (LCD displays):
I’d also stress that, even if a particular data point were to be factual, it would be impossible to interpret what that data point means to our business. Our supply chain is very complex and we have multiple sources for our components. Yields can vary…supplier performance can vary. There’s an inordinate list of things that would make any single data point not a great proxy for what’s going on.
If you’re going to flat out state, as a fact, that Apple’s plans are being upset, you should probably know what its plans were in the first place. If you’re going to guess what those plans are, just be honest and say so.