CIBC sees slowdown for iPhone – already
A day after RBC comes out with a very bullish note on Apple’s (APPL:NASDAQ) success with the iPhone, CIBC’s U.S.-based equity research team takes a different tact. Is it possible that the bloom has already come off the iPhone rose?
iPhone Slowing? 3G Coming Sooner Than You Think
– Based on our store checks, we believe that demand for the iPhone has seen a significant decline in the past 10 days. We have noticed decent inventories at stores, and thin demand at best. In fact, most Apple store visitors were not looking at the device and only a very small subset bought it.
– With the weakness, we wouldn’t be surprised to see AT&T and Apple step up their marketing efforts. Our channel checks suggest Apple is actually looking to introduce a 3G version of the iPhone for the U.S. market in November, ahead of the holiday season and earlier than currently expected.
– Our recent survey of iPhone buyers suggested that the key shortcoming of the current device is its poor data connectivity (EDGE). This isn’t a surprise and Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs admitted the iPhone’s cellular connectivity can use an improvement. We now believe the “improvement” could come soon.
– As for impact on handset sector–the iPhone has been viewed as a possible negative for RIM (we thought so as well). Yet, based on our checks, it seems that the iPhone has significantly increased awareness for email devices. A positive mainly for RIM–the brand of choice for email devices.
wow, a potential 3G iphone release before a 3G blackberry! Not sure if operators such as AT&T would be ready for 3G (HSDPA) prime-time.
The more interesting question is whether there will be new models for “iphone” every 6 – 9 months? The replacement cycle for cellphones is significantly shorter than an iPod, so would make sense for Apple to release a new spin or marketing version every six months or so, and diversify the iphone line.