Yesterday we decided not to run with a story published by Bloomberg that Pegatron’s forecasted 25 percent to 30 percent drop for second-quarter revenue was due to “falling iPad mini demand.” It seemed a little far fetched that an Apple supplier would be giving up specific information on product demand, something we know suppliers in Apple’s circle typically remain tight-lipped on. Today CEO of Pegatron Jason Cheng has confirmed our suspicions in an email to Fortune claiming that Bloomberg reporter Tim Culpan made the iPad mini angle up.
While quoting an analyst’s expectations for iPad mini demand in Q2, Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan offered the following quote from Pegatron Chief Executive Officer Jason Cheng as proof:
A decline in revenue from the iPad Mini “is more on demand, while price has been stable. Not just tablets, also e-books and games consoles, almost every item is moving in a negative direction.”
Pegatron chief Jason Cheng says he wasn’t referring to iPad mini specifically, but rather all of its products including all tablets and game consoles, while noting that “clearly refused” to answer Culpan’s questions related to specific products. Here’s what he had to say about the Bloomberg piece:
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“We held our Institutional Investors Conference yesterday, and gave out a guidance of our 2Q13 business outlook… The category of Consumer Electronic Product includes game consoles, LCD-TV, e-paper readers, tablet products, and some others. We put all tablet products in this category, but have never broken down to detail numbers for specific products nor customers.
“After the meeting, one reporter from Bloomberg approached me, trying to dig out detail numbers about some specific product. I clearly refused to comment on specific products, nor customers, even though he continued with other questions. I did say those words that he quotes me in the article “more on demand, while price has been stable”…, “almost every item is moving in a negative direction”…; “Not just tablets, also e-books and games consoles”. But I did not say anything associated with any specific products.
“‘No indication, nor hint for specific products or customers‘ has been our principle and guideline for any public events such as investors conference. There are always speculations after these meetings.
Very rarely do data points from suppliers– especially Apple’s suppliers which don’t often provide data for specific products– provide any concrete evidence of Apple’s supply/demand balance. It’s something that Tim Cook himself warned against back in January:
“I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about rumors, because I will spend my life doing that,” he said, while noting it is good to doubt rumors in regards to Apple’s supply chain.
“I’d stress that even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret for our overall business, ” he added. “ Yields can vary. Supplier performance can vary. There’s an inordinately long list of things that would make any single data point not a great proxy for what’s going on.”