You know what they say – nothing lasts forever, although diamonds might want to dispute that. A bunch of the latest figures from Needham analyst Charlie Wolf have pointed to a decline of as much as 5% in revenue generated by Apple Stores for the month of March, which is in stark contrast to a 3% increase in sales during Christmas last year. Is this going to develop into a larger problem?
Wolf claims that majority of the problem arises from consumers who are simply holding out for new Apple products to roll out – especially a spanking new iPhone, as one might expect. Wolf shared, “meaningful growth [in term’s of sales from the Apple Store] must await the introduction of new products in new product categories.” He does acknowledge that Tim Cook did speak publicly concerning “new product categories” which are “coming soon.”
Wolf continued, “The sales performance of the Apple Stores is also hostage to the company’s distribution strategies. To illustrate, Mac sales in the stores were adversely impacted in 2009, when Apple broadened Mac distribution in the U.S., adding other chains, such as Best Buy, as resellers. iPod sales in the Apple Stores tanked when iPod demand caught up with supply and Apple responded by vastly increasing the number of outlets selling the product. Same-store sales have also been affected by the roll-out of the iPhone to carrier stores around the globe.”
Do you think that this is just a temporary blip on Apple’s radar, or is it something that Apple ought to get concerned about in the long run?