Apple's Latest Good News

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) investors are (im)patiently waiting for the company to release its official December quarter sales numbers in a couple of weeks. But while waiting can be hard, good news emerged this week that could hint at how the quarter went and what to expect from its upcoming China Mobile launch.

Source: Apple.

First off, a survey by research firm CIRP showed that iPhone 5s sales made up 59% of all iPhone sales in the December quarter, followed by the 5c taking 27% and the 4s nabbing 14%. The survey was conducted with a small sample of just 500 respondents, so it's not exactly a scientific poll. But it could offer some early insights into how the 5s is stacking up against the rest of the iPhone lineup. CIRP's data for the same time last year showed the iPhone 5 taking 50% of all iPhone sales at the time.

That survey comes just as AppleInsider reported total iOS device sales hitting an impressive 80 million for the December quarter, lead by sales of the iPhones 5s and iPad Air. The information comes from data from analyst T. Michael Walkley, who said that about 54 million iPhones were sold in the quarter and 24.8 milion iPads. That would be a 13% year over year increase for iPhone sales and an 8% increase for iPads.

But that's not the only good news for Apple investors this week. A report by The Wall Street Journal said that Foxconn just shipped 1.4 million iPhone 5s units for the upcoming launch on China Mobile. Research firm Gartner said that Apple typically sells about two million iPhones per month in China, so if the 5s shipping numbers are correct, it could mean good news for Apple's upcoming launch at the end of this week. But Apple investors should keep in mind that there's no indication of what future shipping numbers will be from Foxconn, so it's hard to tell if Apple will continue asking Foxconn to ship that many each month, or if it's stocking up on iPhones ahead of the launch.

Source: Apple.

Putting it all together
So you may have already put it together that none of these numbers actually come from Apple. While it's certainly not advisable to make investing decisions based on speculation, the information above can help paint a picture of how Apple's latest quarter may play out for current investors, and offer a sneak peak at how its launch on China Mobile's massive network will go.

Apple will release its first quarter 2014 results in about two weeks, and investors should certainly be eager for this one. The quarter ending in December will be the first full quarter of iPhone 5s and 5c sales, and include the launch of both the iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina display.

The release of the iPhone 5s and iPad seems to have resonated with consumers, and this past year Apple made some significant gains in the enterprise space as well. As Apple reports its latest numbers, the company is selling devices that are moving further into businesses, and Apple can springboard off of that momentum as we start 2014. With a rumored iPad Pro, and possibly iWatch, expected to launch this year, Apple could be moving into some very new territory over the next few quarters. For now though, investors should expect a strong quarter from the company once the official numbers come out later this month and take the current data as an indicator of how well the company is selling its current devices.

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  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2014, at 10:58 AM, Microwave52 wrote:

    Bear in mind that Chinese New Year is Jan. 31, so an explosive start to sales on China Mobile should be expected.

    After CNY sales may soften a bit, but not much as the Chinese appetite for luxury items is insatiable. An iPhone is a status symbol throughout the world, but even more so in China. Especially the gold iPhone 5s as gold represents wealth. It all revolves around the concept of face, and having a gold iPhone 5s means that the owner should be paid attention to.

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2014, at 11:03 AM, Microwave52 wrote:

    Look at the exceedingly positive comments which Tim Cook has been making about the Chairman of China Mobile. Tim's bent over backwards to applaud this man. It's all about giving face, Tim knows this, and Apple will be rewarded as a result.

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2014, at 11:35 AM, Microwave52 wrote:

    I wouldn't be surprised if the gold colored iPhone which Tim Cook gave to the China Moble chairman had engraved (in Chinese) on the back, "To my dear friend Xi Guohua. From Tim Cook". Give the Chairman as much face as is possible.

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