The Macalope Daily: Fever!

We’re about half-way through the fourth quarter, so that means it must be time to predict bad quarterly sales for one Apple product or another.

Queue ZDNet’s Larry Dignan! (Tip o’ the antlers to The Four Misanthropes of the Apocalypse.)

The consternation over Apple’s iPad sales in the December quarter is reaching a fever pitch…

Or the overactive imaginations of ZDNet bloggers is.

Business Insider noted that Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope rang the alarm bells about iPad sales. Shope said that it’s prudent to assume the iPad is seeing demand challenges.

The Macalope doesn’t link to Business Insider because its proprietor is a link-sucking remora, but if you look at the end of the piece you’ll find this:

Despite all this, Shope is maintaining his estimates for the quarter’s iPad sales.

So, not that much lower. This isn’t the kind of fever that will keep you home from school. OK, well, what other evidence does Larry have?

Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes said in a research note that iPad sales are also worrisome. … Reitzes said “we currently estimate iPad unit sales of 13.9 million for the December quarter, which may prove optimistic by 1-2 million units.”

Huh. 1-2 million off an analyst’s estimate. And those are always gold, right?

See, the thing is, even 11.9 million units represents a 76 percent year-over-year growth in sales for the iPad. Show the Macalope another company with that kind of tablet sales growth, and you can’t say Amazon because #DIV/0!. Dignan’s trying to make a lot of hay out of not a lot of stuff you make hay out of.

Of course, Apple may introduce lower-priced iPads early next year, but the evidence Dignan lays out isn’t exactly fever-inducing. It’s not even warming the Macalope’s hooves. Which is a shame because they’re a little cold right now.

Having previously suggested that Apple should name the iPad the Newton, Dignan’s track record on the iPad is questionable. Also, his eyes once rolled back into his head and he prophesized about a future where the Zune ruled supreme. So, there’s that.

Actually, you know what? Let’s look at that one in a little more detail because, as you might imagine, it’s pretty hysterical.

In the piece, written four years ago, Dignan purported to have a time machine and had returned to us with headlines from the future. Headlines like this one:

Port Washington, NY, April 20, 2012 - According to a new report from the NPD Group, a leading consumer and retail information company, sales of Microsoft’s Zune are outpacing Apple’s iPod by a 5 to 1 margin.

Yeah. Well, the Zune technically still has five months to make an amazing come-from-behind win, but the Macalope is beginning to wonder about Dignan’s analytical skills. And whether he even has a time machine.

Not that any of this has anything to do with iPad sales. The Macalope just thinks people who thought the Zune would rule are funny.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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