The highly anticipated release of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c didn’t help shares in Apple ($AAPL), which registered a slight loss of close to 0.3 percent. Consumers across the globe were lined up outside Apple Stores waiting for a chance to purchase the new phones, with the gold 5s being particularly prized. However, while the sales numbers are expected to be high, estimated to be around 6 million in the opening weekend by most analysts, there is some concern that the new phone won’t be able to continue Apple’s track record of success.
Opening Weekend Sellout Expected Despite Lukewarm Reviews
Supplies for the new iPhones were outpaced by demand, at least in the early going. And limited supply could end up hurting sales numbers in the first weekend.
“As a reminder, the U.S. iPhone 5 supply largely lasted until midday Saturday. If supply sells out before midday Saturday, we believe there could be risk that the weekend sales figure ends closer the 5 million in our 5-6 million range,” wrote Apple’s Gene Munster in a note to clients.
Chris Caso of Susquehanna ($SUSQ) stated that the limited supply for the 5s meant that the popularity of the 5c in the long run would be an important factor, saying “We think Apple’s ability to achieve consensus expectations for [calendar] Q3 will in large part be dependent on consumer enthusiasm for iPhone 5c rather than 5s, due to greater availability for 5c.”
However, skepticism has been seeping into the market over the newest shiny toy that Apple’s rolled out. Glen Kacher, founder of the hedge fund Light Street Capital Management, said that the new iPhone led him to sell off his Apple shares on CNBC’s “Fast Money.”
"We sold our Apple a few days after they showed the new iPhones," he said. "We just didn't think they were compelling enough. … Particularly, there's not a large-screen iPhone that's really there to compete with the Galaxy or the Note. We'd like to see a 5½-inch screen larger phone. And the Apple 5c, the more affordable phone, is 20 percent less than the more expensive one on a non-subsidized basis. This is just not cheap enough to be interesting in Asia and other emerging markets."
Pandora Finally Slips with iTunes Radio
One casualty of the new iPhone was Pandora ($P), which had previously enjoyed two straight weeks of gains. In the first loss posted since September 4, the internet radio company shed almost 2.5 percent. Investors were spooked after some analysts projected Apple’s new iTunes Radio to be a major competitor.
Barton Crockett of Lazard Capital ($LAZ) expressed fears that Apple “can out-duel Pandora in marketing to consumers,” but that their foray into streaming radio “also validates the category, potentially bringing new advertisers to Pandora.”
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