Apple Inc. (AAPL) Blames Carriers For Below Expected iPhone Sales

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone sales, which came in below Wall Street expectations, were allegedly due to Verizon Wireless and AT&T, according to Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt. If McCourt is to believe then 80% of the sales downfall can be ascribed to network carriers that sell iPhone.

Carriers to be blamed

In the first quarter of fiscal 2014, Apple sold total of 51 million iPhones, but the analysts expected the company to garner 55 million, which in turn affected stock.

In its fourth quarter result, AT&T stated that smartphones sales came down 22.5% compared to the previous year’s corresponding quarter. Compared to Verizon, who posted a decline of 10% in smartphone sales, AT&T saw more number of customer shortfalls.

“We believe Apple likely held or took share at both carriers as has been the trend through the year,” McCourt said in a research note.

McCourt added that if that was the reason then Apple sold around 12 million iPhones compared to 15 million iPhones from the year ago.

Verizon and AT&T have not disclosed their iPhone sales, so it is not clear that how many iPhones were sold, in the fourth quarter. McCourt, however, stated that AT&T and Verizon contributed around 4 million of his estimated 5 million shortfall in the iPhone sales.

Investors waiting for next new thing

Instead of blaming carriers for the drop in sales, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook pinned North America’s almost saturated market as one of the reasons for the sales drop. Cook also said that the decline in business was due to supply issues with the iPhone 5S, but according to some weak sales of the iPhone 5C might have played a major role in the decline.

With the declining sales, investors and analysts fear that the halo effect of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices might be coming down. The Apple devices were till now as the reliable growth catalyst for the company, however, Jack Albin, chief investment officer with BMO Private Bank said that Apple has unveiled impressive products last year, but actually they are simply an upgrade over the old ones and nothing new is featured in these devices.

“Apple investors want the next new thing — that’s the catalyst that people are waiting for.”