The Macalope: Impending iPad disaster!


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Who would you trust to field the tough questions about Apple besides The Motley Fool?

Well, yeah, pretty much anybody. Including those guys chilling outside the 7-11 across from the Paramus Mall.

Writing for the Fool, Adam Levine-Weinberg asks “Is Apple Making Another iPad Blunder?”

Well, that would presume there was a first one, which … hmmm, the Macalope’s looking around … under a stack of papers … oh, there’s the Holy Grail … but, nope, not seeing the original “iPad blunder.”

… most Apple-watchers now believe that the next-generation full-size iPad and iPad mini will be introduced at a launch event in October before going on sale in late October or early November.

The mistake, Levine-Weinberg believes, is in not having them ready sooner.

If this timeline is accurate, it would mean that Apple is essentially replicating last fall’s product release timetable. This doesn’t seem like a very good strategy on Apple’s part. A late October or early November release won’t give Apple enough time to build up sufficient inventory for the holiday season.

The heavy demand for Apple products during the holiday seasons is killing Apple.

As a result, iPads are likely to be supply-constrained through the 2013 holiday season.

We don’t know that that’s necessarily true, but let’s assume it is—otherwise, this article has no point.

Pent-up iPad Mini demand therefore carried over into the March quarter, when Apple managed to post an even stronger 65% increase in total iPad unit shipments.

However will the company ever recover?

However, by the end of March, an appropriate supply demand balance had been reached. As a result, in Q3, Apple posted the first ever year-over-year decline in iPad shipments. iPad revenue fell 27% on a 14% decrease in unit shipments.

Uh, yeah, a decline from a period last year where Apple had introduced the third-generation iPad.

It’s safe to say that the iPad Mini hasn’t lived up to expectations.

Uh …

You know, the Macalope’s not even going to bother with that one. When there’s a monkey wearing a fez in the room, you don’t have to say “Oh, my God, there’s a monkey wearing a fez in the room!” Everyone already knows. Because, you know, monkey in a fez.

For the most part, I think tech analysts pay too much attention to timing issues. When a new product release doesn’t quite line up with the previous launch cycle, it can have a dramatic impact on quarterly earnings. However, from a longer-term perspective, it usually has no impact on the company’s earnings stream.

Wait, aren’t you the guy who just bemoaned Apple timing issues for 700 words? Did the Macalope get hit on the head in the middle of this piece?

Actually, that sounds pretty good right about now.

Even if a September launch is out of the question, an early or mid-October on-sale date would give Apple more time to fulfill initial demand and build up holiday inventory.

So, in other words, this is another completely manufactured way for Apple to fail yet again. Thanks for clearing that up for us, Adam.

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