The week is starting off well, but without fireworks, for investors bullish about Apple. The good news? The company says this morning that it sold more than 10M iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units in the first three days that they were available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK. That breaks previous sell-through records “by a large margin,” and exceeded company expectations, CEO Tim Cook says. What’s more: “While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.”
But Apple shares are only up about 1% in initial trading because investor expectations were already high. As a result, “we view the results as solid, if unspectacular,” says Cowen and Co’s Timothy Arcuri. The number might have been a lot higher if Apple had also been able to sell the new iPhones in China — as it did last year when it introduced the iPhone 5S and 5C. In the equivalent weekend last year, Apple sold about 9M units of its then-new iPhones, including roughly 5M outside China.
No need to feel sorry for Apple, or its investors. The company’s share price is +51% over the last 12 months. And Arcuri, for one, anticipates “a big leap forward on the hardware side.” In addition to the new iPhones, and the upcoming Apple Watch, “we continue to expect new iPad hardware (a 13″ tablet/PC hybrid iPad product) to debut in early [fiscal 2015] along with longer-term initiatives that we think could 2x the size of the company.”