Apple held a conference call yesterday after reporting their Q4 sales numbers. Apple fell just short of the projected revenue stat of $29.41 billion, making $28.3 billion instead.
The iPhone sold just 17.1 million units, against the expected 22 million. According to Apple Chief Financial Officer, Peter Oppenheimer, the iPhone rumors are the cause for this negative impact on the business.
When asked why he thought the results were so disappointing, Oppenheimer suggested that the iPhone 5 rumors may be the thing to blame for people deciding not to buy iPhones so close to a refresh. It’s not just the internet that supports these rumors, many news outlets were predicting a new, teardrop-shaped design to be unveiled at Apple’s Let’s Talk iPhone event. This, according to Oppenheimer, caused people to not purchase the iPhone 4.
“Oppenheimer appears to be attributing at least part of the blame for poorer sales of the iPhone 4 on the rumors of a redesigned iPhone 5. “Apple’s secrecy creates a certain amount of vacuum, which, as we all know, the Internet abhors,” Oppenheimer said, “and then fills with rumors.”
This claim seems more clear and makes more sense when you consider the record-breaking sales numbers coming from the iPhone 4S on launch weekend. Did people decide not to buy an iPhone 4 because of the expectation of a completely new iPhone? While the iPhone 4S is a new device, the differences between the two handsets are not as different as the rumors suggested.
So Apple blames our expectations and rumors for its lower sales numbers.