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4 years, 1 month ago
After a quantity of financial quarters with predictable results, the Apple company surprised with the indicators of sales which for 3,74% exceeded expected according to the forecast [original article is published in the 2nd quarter 2014 – a comment perev.]. It can seem not such important, but since the company in the first quarter entered last year a new technique of forecasting, the declared revenue of the company approximately for 1% exceeded earlier set limit.

It makes striking contrast with values of indicators of previous years. The diagram which shows "error" in the forecast in the form of a percentage difference between the declared sales and predicted is included below. [1]


By clicking the image will open in a complete size

So, before the last quarter we mistakenly believed that the forecast with almost ideal accuracy defines the future of the company. As I already wrote to Twitter, because of it drawing up forecasts for Apple lost passion. Everything that it was necessary to make analytics is to take the indicators of growth of the main product allowing to reach approximate sales volume, and then to subtract operating expenses (which indicators are kindly provided by the company), and the tax rate which is (also kindly provided) to receive the profit sum. The only still unknown value in determination of profit for an event is the number of the events which remained in the address. [2]

Knowing Apple, I can tell that the average price of sale is also very strictly fixed so degree of freedom of the analysis became extremely limited.

But while it seems to you that you understood how the system works, it changes. The company surprised with the results of activity of third-party analysts. The diagram given below shows estimated range and really gained income. [3]


So occurred?

It seems that the answer – sales of iPhone improved. The following table displays my expectations which were constructed according to a profitability indicator in upper part of the predicted range.


Concerning deliveries/sales I underestimated iPhone and Mac, and also revaluated iPad and iPod. I precisely evaluated iTunes and underestimated sale of accessories for 5%. Also, by and large, I very close determined profitability level, however, pointed to 1 point less on gross profit.

The output consisted that an unexpected income level and profits it is possible to charge to the considerable advancing dynamics of sales of iPhone that could compensate less considerable non-performance of planned targets for iPod.

Sales of iPhone grew by 14% – it was enough to compensate drop in sales of iPad for 13% and to allow total revenue grow by 5%. As the company did not expect growth jump, these 5% became a big surprise.

Someone can ask whether he will entail increase of sales of iPhone for 14% considerable changes in long-term strategy of development of a product. It is a difficult question. How position iPhone, does it successful in a bonus segment of the market, but does not put in competition conditions from allegedly 80% of the market which, probably, form from the point of view of lower prices.

After all we will not forget that pricing correlates with the market, but is not defined of Making decision on purchase – difficult process, and the price is only one of the aspects influencing this solution. But there are also many other factors. Availability of goods, communication channels, service, a brand – all this matters. The error of many analysts consists in what they consider, as if the price and only the price influences behavior of the buyer. Perhaps, and occurs concerning raw materials, but allow me to remind that these products new, and them began to use recently, and the perception of their value quickly changed. Buyers adhere to a learning curve, in sense of opening of options of use and value of products. Such learning curves can be simulated for several years (sometimes decades) for many generations between early followers and the late majority.

We do not know, where exactly on a learning curve there is iPhone in separately taken region, and it means that the surprise in dynamics of its growth still can expect us.


  • The upper edge of range those quarters where the range of fluctuations is specified.
  • The company cannot know what number of events in the address as their purchase within a quarter happens unplanned will be.
  • The next quarter is also considered.

According to the link Horas Dedyyu's interview about surprises in the market after an output of new iPad which it gave to journalists of Bloomberg in October, 2014 is located: [en].

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