Like most consumer electronics brands, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) generally hits a seasonal lull during the summer. iPhone unit sales are no different. However, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty believes Apple is still enjoying robust demand. Morgan Stanley's proprietary AlphaWise Smartphone Tracker, which in part uses Google Trends data to forecast demand, projects that Apple will sell 39 million iPhones in the quarter ended in June.
That would represent 25% year-over-year growth and mark reacceleration in iPhone unit sales. That figure is also above the current Street consensus of 35 million. AlphaWise similarly predicted upside in the previous quarter, forecasting sales of 41 million versus the Street expectation of 38 million. It proved closer to the mark as Apple reported almost 44 million in iPhone unit sales.
This is an interesting forecast since now is about the time that consumers begin delaying purchases in anticipation of new models, which are generally released in September. The iPhone 6 has an awful lot of hype, and is expected to be larger with a major redesign, but that hasn't held back demand much. It's also possible that expanded carrier partnerships are driving additional demand.
Apple added China Mobile and Japan's NTT DoCoMo around the turn of the year. Those are the largest carriers in their respective markets, and all that pent-up demand takes time to satisfy.
In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses Apple's quarter with Evan Niu, CFA.
(relevant segment begins at 3:25)