If You Can't Even Describe The Past, How Can You Predict The Future?

from the iPhorecast dept

When Apple reported its opening weekend iPhone sales, Wall Street was disappointed that the 270,000 figure it gave out failed to hit much loftier estimates. Of course, this raises the old question: did Apple miss estimates or did analysts mis-estimate? In a sense, the answer is always both, although its worth exploring why the numbers were so far apart. Looking into this question, Carl Bialik notes that Wall Street analysts basically got caught up in emotional hype, as each one tried to outdo each other by making bolder predictions. Their mistakes were exacerbated by the use of small sample sizes, which they mistakenly extrapolated across the country. Analysts make predictions about unit sales all the time for all kinds of products, but you have to wonder how they can accurately predict the future when they can't even correctly gauge what's already happened.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    TheDock22, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 3:07pm

    Problems...

    I do agree it has been hyped, but I think the exclusive AT&T contract is going to kill sales in the long run. I live in a state where AT&T isn't even on the map for offering cell phone service and won't install any towers because they do not feel like it. So no one in my state or the surrounding states can have an iPhone. Boo AT&T!

     

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    hirandy, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 3:15pm

    ...and you're adding to the misinformation

    Apple reported selling 270,000 iPhones in the first 30 hours -- not the first weekend. Sunday sales were not included, since their fiscal quarter ended on that Saturday.

    Based on the first 30 hours, it's not unreasonable to think that they may have sold 450,000-500,000 units over the entire weekend which is in line with the more optimistic pundit forecasts. However, nobody but Apple knows since they haven't released the numbers.

    Apple's ONLY public forward-looking number was 10 million units by the end of 2008 and that was their GOAL, not their estimate. I don't see how Apple contributed to any over-hype of the estimates.

     

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    Mitch the Bitch, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 3:33pm

    You don;t know how Apple over-hyped hirandy? Pretty much EVERY word Jobs spewed for 3 months was pure hype. "Revolutionary" ha! Evolutionary maybe...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 4:33pm

    analysts are just pimping to promote stock trades - duh

    when is the public going to catch on? probably never.

     

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    Mike, Aug 2nd, 2007 @ 7:09am

    C - none of the above

    There are a few competitors who saw the apple adds, and released clones before apple did. Cell phone vendors there pre-culled the apple iPhone market. Sometimes competitive systems destroy excellence for profitability. In this case they did and the consumer is the loser.

     

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      Nasty Old Geezer, Aug 2nd, 2007 @ 12:33pm

      Re: C - none of the above

      D -- All of the above.

      Apple encouraged the hype in order to boost the demand for the iPhone.

      Stock analysts have a herd mentality, so they would tend to over or under estimate as a group.

      Also -- it has been interesting that many tech stocks fall atfer earnings figures are announced, because they met estimates instead of beating them.

      Personally, you could not give me an iPhone, even though I am already an AT&T customer. Trendy types and Apple fanbois will buy them, I am neither.

       

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    Philip (profile), Aug 2nd, 2007 @ 9:07am

    Hype was there

    But it is the AT&T lock in and price tag that hurt the phone the most. Before AT&T too back Cingular, there were more people all for it. Once AT&T took over, their hopes diminished. Then you have to factor in all the troubles AT&T had activating the phones.

    Before AT&T took over, I was debating on switching to Cingular. Now that they are apart of A&T, I decided not to follow suit. I'm sure I'm not the only one with this mind set.

     

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