TheStreet’s James Rogers says that while it’s now looking highly unlikely that Steve Jobs will spring any “one May thing” hardware surprises in his keynote next Monday at Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) next week, the company still has enough market momentum going to continue putting the heat to rivals like BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) and HP.
Rogers cites Forrester Research Inc’s senior analyst Sarah Rotman Epps who told TheStreet that “Apple has been pretty clear that they are not preparing to release new hardware – it will be a software story [at WWDC]…” Ms. Rotman Epps maintains that will work out OK for Apple, noting that “The iPad 2 was an incredibly successful launch.”
He notes that RIM is dealing with a recall of some 1,000 of its new PlayBook tablet computers, and HP is facing delays getting its new TouchPad tablet quality right before launch, and reports that market analysts like Gleacher & Company’s Brian Marshall and Ticonderoga Securities’ Brian White say they’re “untroubled” by Apple’s apparent break with tradition in not launching a new iPhone at this year’s WWDC, since both iPad 2 and CDMA iPhone sales continue to climb while legacy players struggle. ROgers points out that record iPhone sales were the foundational factor underlying Apple’s buoyant second-quarter financial results with iPhone shipments having gained a massive 113% during the company’s fiscal second quarter and accounted for half of Apple’s $24.7 billion total revenue of.
Appleinsider’s Neil Hughes concurs with Rogers, observing that robust sales of the white iPhone 4 which has been “especially popular” in Asia, and is sold out in Taipei. have kept Apple on pace match the 18.65 million iPhone sales in that previous stellar quarter, logging a substantial year-over-year increase (Apple sold 8.4 million iPhones in its June 2010 quarter during which the iPhone 4 launched) even without releasing an iPhone 5, noting that Ticonderoga Securities’ White saying his sources indicate that current-quarter shipments of the iPhone 4 are now projected to hold steady, bettering the 15 percent reduction he’d anticipated, and observing that there’s been no typical long pause in demand that can usually be expected to occur preceding introduction of an iPhone model upgrade.
According to a report by BGR’s Zach Epstein, White is hearing from his sources in the far East that initial production for an iPhone refresh will be ramping up at Apple’s component suppliers in July, with volume production of an anticipated next-generation iPhone beginning in August for a September launch.
Ticonderoga is “picking up data points that suggest initial production at certain iPhone component suppliers will begin in July with volume production planned in August for the next-generation iPhone, supporting our view of a September launch.”