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Apple's iPhone Blowout Might Not Be as Impressive as You Think

Tech giant Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) certainly failed to impress investors when it unveiled its most recent line of iPhones two weeks ago. But, oh, what a difference a couple of weeks can make.

Coming off a weekend where Apple smashed its previous records for iPhones sold in a debut weekend, it looks like the Cupertino giant still resonates loud and clear with the group that ultimately matters most: consumers. So much so, in fact, that the 9 million iPhones Apple sold nearly doubled the previous record with the iPhone 5's launch last year.

And while this is undeniably a good thing for Apple and its shareholders, it might not be quite as impressive as the headlines would have you think. In this video, Fool contributor Andrew Tonner looks at a few reasons why Apple's recent record should be taken with a grain of salt.

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Read/Post Comments (21) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 8:47 PM, JAVKO wrote:

    You are a paid basher who is selling its sole for a fistful of Wons.

    This is the end of Fool - what a proper name for your site, sacrificing long term Rev for short term mercenary fees.

    Your site has lost all credibility, if it ever had any!

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 8:52 PM, thethreestooges wrote:

    I am not impress with the blowout numbers either.

    I was really hoping they produce a much cheaper junky phones so that they can sell 900 million phones instead of just 9 millions over the weekend.

    Why could they not just make some cheap junkie phones and sell it for $50 a piece?

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 8:53 PM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    I was under the impression that the Mötley Fool stood for long term investing, not agreeing with short term thinking by analysts with their heads in the sand.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 9:01 PM, abshelby wrote:

    Andrew, Please take a moment and listen to your video. I am sure that you must be an intelligent person which brings me to my question. Why would an intelligent person produce a video containing such inconsistent comments and such sloppy logic? For example, yes, Apple is now selling to a larger market and this has resulted in more iPhone sales. Well, DUH! Good grief, I had come to expect better work from the Motley Fool people.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 9:02 PM, FreeRange1 wrote:

    A key point that this piece fails to mention is that Apple ran out of the 5s the very first day so they didn't even come close to meeting initial demand - in other words, they could have sold millions more on opening weekend! Further, the fact that China was in the launch weekend is not as big a factor as one might think because a significant number of Chinese actually get their iPhones through tax free Hong Kong instead of paying the 17% tax charged on the mainland on all Apple products. (So much for free trade!)

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 9:05 PM, tkell31 wrote:

    Absolutely correct, but having 9 million on hand was impressive. The main question will be how many are already ordered for delivery in October and how will they sell through the quarter. Last year Apple sold, on average, 4.3 million phones every week from Oct through Dec so that's the number to beat just to match last year's revenue.

    Based on orders already received Apple should have a pretty good idea how the following quarter is shaping up so their guidance will be revealing. They did 53? billion last year in the holiday quarter so unless they are significantly over that number people will be right to ask where is the growth?

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 9:33 PM, chrischamb1 wrote:

    Just another dumb article/video bashing Apple with apples to oranges comparisons (sorry for the cliche) I really don't understand why there are SO MANY Apple haters out there when no one seems to bash a company like Amazon who NEVER makes any money and has a P/E of -1350 and cost $315/share when Apple has P/E of 11.5, pays a dividend, has a 40% operating margin and actually MAKES PRODUCTS!! If anyone can explain this insane phenomenon to me I'm all ears.....

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 9:48 PM, AnkurVarsheny wrote:

    Did anyone ask his junk opinion. By the way how these junk articles get published?

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 9:50 PM, Jason91789 wrote:

    The 9 Millions is just the weekend. My family was going to buy 3 iphone 5s at the Apple store but we only got only one and that was on the first day of the opening. I expect the number will be much biger, many more people in China are on a waiting list to buy the 5s model. All those who short the stock will get Squeeze soon. I am long this stock, people are jealous of Apple company they will say anything to scare the investor. But the smart investor knows better.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 9:59 PM, H3D wrote:

    On the other hand , it might be more impressive than you think.

    I, and many others, have got into the habit of preordering a device which is received on the first day of sales.

    But this year it's not the case. We have to wait a little longer. And we don't appear in first weekend sales.

    That could easily exclude 2-3 million iPhone 5s that were still ordered, just not counted this year.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 10:11 PM, daveshouston wrote:

    How do I cancel my Fool subscription. Recent articles have been really dumb. This one leads the pack.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 10:28 PM, larryw101 wrote:

    Well, this does it for me this this farce of a site.

    Motley Fool is full of Apple bashers who print articles not based on fact but on rumors and speculation.

    Also, there is another brainless basher on this site named Rick M. who just moments ago printed an almost identical article as this. What's going on Motley? Hard up good authors know their business so you now have to rely on repeating bad articles by different writers?

    My comments will not be left here alone. I am writing to Tom Gardner who is the CEO of this company. I encourage others to write him as well. Does he understand how much these baseless and bashing articles are discrediting Motley Fool?

    I'm through with wasting my time reading this garbage.

    Motley Fool couldn't get me to take their advice if they paid me. Their name fits them appropriately.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 10:55 PM, Shelly2884 wrote:

    I read many of your articles and all of them seem as if you are being paid by Samsung or someone similar. You do not address facts but just try to raise doubts through innuendo. There should be a way to get writers like you out of print. While I am sure you charge a significant fee for your service, just as in New York, I hope someone investigates and prosecutes you for misleading the public.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 11:05 PM, Uruzone wrote:

    I agree with the majority here. I used to LOVE this site and its services. I was a Hidden Gems subscriber for two years and had my mother sign up as a Rule Breakers subscriber so we could share. This site was always entertaining, but *intelligent*. I learned a lot here once upon a time.

    I can't pinpoint when the change happened, but it was at least two years ago. Motley Fool became a forum for frequently uneducated loudmouths, and worse, loudmouths with an agenda.

    It's as if they secretly sold the business to some third-party organization that is only concerned with traffic to the site rather than the strength of the content within it. I'm just really, really disappointed to have lost such a great resource.

    Like the rest of you, I will also think twice from now on before clicking on a link to Motley Fool.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 11:29 PM, Davewrite wrote:


    apple didn't do so great because it increased sales by EXPANDING into NEW MARKETS like Docomo Japan?


    so what is wrong with a company expanding into new markets? (this is apply to everyone or just Apple?)

    apple has about half the carriers of Samsung , so if apple expands into them like China Mobile and makes more money that's BAD?


    so investors shouldn't buy aapl because apple is expanding markets?


  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 11:43 PM, Davewrite wrote:


    and to add to my post above:

    'Apple increased sales by making a new phone'

    is touted here as something negative!


    if Ford builds another model car and sells a few million more units, that's BAD? unfair?

    (instead of 'warning' investors , shouldn't you be telling investors to buy more shares as Apple is increasing its product range?)

    So (following my post above) according to this video apple EXPANDING into NEW MARKETS like Docomo Japan and EXPANDING by MAKING NEW PRODUCTS is somehow BAD? Investors have to be warned about that?

    (for months now stupid analysts have been saying that the smartphone market at the high end is 'saturated' and apple will not be able to sell more phones. Now apple expands into DOCOMO and SELLS MORE PHONES that is painted as 'unfair'.... )

    people should only buy aapl if apple only made more money by NOT making new products or expanding its markets?

    Sorry for the ALL CAPS but this video freaks me out, makes no sense at all.....

  • Report this Comment On September 25, 2013, at 12:28 AM, JAVKO wrote:

    And the idiot does not respond!

    Are you busy cahing your 2-figure Won check? Hurry before ir bounces, you Fool.

  • Report this Comment On September 25, 2013, at 1:03 AM, DanManners wrote:

    Andrew you go from one bearish to one bullish article. I think you are a nice guy but I give Fool the least credibility. Total joke.

    You would be better off posting a favorite recipe. Otherwise I could use you on my lawn in the spring. It will be nice and green!

  • Report this Comment On September 25, 2013, at 1:19 AM, demodave wrote:

    It's a lame video. I won't deny that fact or try to defend it.

    But I do not think it is fair to claim that Tonner is an Apple basher. Most of his stuff on Apple is fairly neutral, if not leaning to positive.

    It's just that this particular video happens to be crap.

    Is the Motley Fool different than it's stated mission, say, 15 years ago? I have to think so. They used to talk about fundamentals and long-term buy-to-hold investing. The "Dogs of the Dow" and stuff like that. Rule Breakers and Rule Makers are good (if not great) concepts, but they are outside the reach of EveryFool.

    Sorry, TMF Team, this one was a dud.

    I'm not hatin' (at least, I don't think so, not like some of the other comments I have seen), but I am definitely not feelin' the love.

  • Report this Comment On September 25, 2013, at 7:40 AM, jdmeck wrote:

    Just can't make some people happy. Expected better from you Andrew.

  • Report this Comment On September 25, 2013, at 8:20 AM, larryw101 wrote:

    Everyone on here who posted should also send an email to Tom Gardner, the CEO of Mötley , expressing their disgust for just how bad this site has become with such garbage articles as this. As I said in an earlier post above, this use to be a decent site years ago but now it has turned into a bunch of know nothing amateur authors who print articles not based on fact but on rumors and slanted journalism.

    SHAME ON MOTLEY. You have now lost the little credibility you had left!

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