An analysis of Apple’s Q4 guidance by BTIG’s Walter Piecyk suggests that the company will launch new products in Q4, which ends on 28 September.
We don’t think that Apple can hit its newly issued revenue guidance for the September quarter unless it launches new products. After delivering $35 billion in revenue in the June quarter, management guided to $34-$37 billion next quarter. Revenue would more typically drop multiple billions if the company had no new products planned.
Piecyk says that the guidance on margins suggests that the product will be an iPhone …
The margin guidance also likely indicates that the new product launch this quarter will be an iPhone and not a lower margin iPad. While new iPhones are lower margin at launch, they are still higher margin than iPad’s.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, quoted in a Business Insider piece, backed up this view.
Apple provided a wider than normal revenue guidance range of $3B, noting many moving parts in the September quarter [...] which coincides with suppliers ramping iPhone shipments in September.
The big question, of course, is whether the new product is the 5S, plastic iPhone or both. Either way, for significant chunks of revenue to show up in Q4 suggests a mid-September launch at the latest. Tim Cook has repeatedly made references to product launches in the fall (which technically starts on 22 September this year).
“I’m just saying we’ve got really great stuff coming in the fall, and across all of 2014.”
BTIG has increased its forecast of Q4 iPhone sales from 25M to 30M.