Apple's Q1 2009 Earnings Predictions

Apple will release their earnings for the first quarter of the 2009 fiscal year Wednesday afternoon. A number of reports circulating over the past couple of days lend some insight into what we might be able to expect.

AppleInsider discusses a report from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who predicts based on data from research firm NPD that Apple sold between 2.45 million and 2.55 million Macs in the quarter for a gain of 6-10% over the year-ago quarter. Munster specifically points to an approximately 4% gain in year-over-year Mac sales for the month of December, rebounding from flat or slightly negative growth during November, as a positive sign. Munster also predicts iPod sales in the range of 19 million to 20 million units, above Wall Street's expectations of approximately 18.6 million units.

Fortune, on the other hand, contrasts Munster's view with that of Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi, who views much of the NPD data negatively. The major difference between Munster and Sacconaghi's predictions, however, appears in their iPhone numbers, for which NPD does not provide data. Munster predicts quarterly iPhone sales of 6.4 million, while Sacconaghi predicts sales in the range of 3.5 million to 4 million.

The wild card that may be missed by many investors, as thoroughly described by Andy Zaky at Bullish Cross, is Apple's use of subscription-based accounting for iPhone revenue. The practice, which results in Apple recognizing revenue from a particular iPhone sale over the two-year term of the service contract, resulted in significantly lower revenue numbers for last quarter than would have otherwise been seen.

As Zaky points out (and Fortune summarizes), this discrepancy has resulted in Apple releasing two sets of earnings number, one "official" one calculated according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) using subscription-based accounting of iPhone sales and one calculated using non-GAAP revenue recognizing each iPhone purchase entirely within the quarter in which the sale was made. Because most analysts base their reports on GAAP numbers, many are ignoring the impact of fractional revenue being carried over from sales made in earlier quarters. Consequently, while Q1 2009 most likely saw a decline in iPhone sales from the previous quarter, the impact of this decline on Apple's revenue numbers should be mitigated by this subscription-based accounting.

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...