Apple to report earnings amid chip shortage and supply crunch

Asia's Tech News Daily

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during Apple‘s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, U.S. June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Mason Trinca

Apple (AAPL) will report Q4 earnings after the closing bell on Thursday, and analysts will pay close attention to demand for the new iPhone 13 lineup and the company's ability to withstand the ongoing chip shortage.

Here’s what Wall Street is expecting from the quarter, as compiled by Bloomberg, compared with how Apple performed in the same quarter last year.

  • Revenue: $84.68 billion versus $64.69 billion in Q4 2020

  • Earnings per share: $1.23 expected versus $0.73 in Q4 2020

  • iPhone revenue: $41.60 billion expected versus $26.44 billion in Q4 2020

  • Mac Revenue: $9.30 billion expected versus $9.03 billion in Q4 2020

  • iPad Revenue: $7.16 billion expected versus $6.79 billion in Q4 2020

  • Services revenue: $17.57 billion expected versus $14.54 billion in Q4 2020

  • Wearables revenue: $9.27 billion expected versus $7.87 billion in Q4 2020

The big news for Apple’s Q4 will not only be how many iPhones it sold in the quarter, but the company’s commentary on the impact of the ongoing chip shortage crisis. Bloomberg reported that Apple was cutting orders for the iPhone 13 by 10 million units in early October.

“We see both demand and supply as key questions heading into this FQ4 earnings report though we expect investor focus to be mainly on what Apple says with regard to supply limitations,” Goldman Sachs’ Rod Hall wrote in an analyst note ahead of Apple’s earnings.

Wedbush’s Dan Ives, meanwhile, says that while he believes Apple will beat Wall Street estimates for the quarter, there are still questions as to the impact the chip shortage will have on Apple’s holiday sales.

“To this point, with Apple likely needing to cut iPhone units by 5 million to 10 million due to the chip shortage, December guidance (higher ASPs an offset) could be a bit mixed although this remains purely a timing issue that is well understood by the Street,” he wrote in a recent note.

The chip shortage is unlikely to let up anytime soon, with estimates pointing to improvements in mid-2022 at the earliest.

Apple’s Q4 generally provides an early look at how well the latest iPhone model is selling, since the phone traditionally launches in the middle of the quarter. The iPhone 13 is a moderate improvement over the iPhone 12 in terms of performance and design, but its cameras have been a major selling point.

Apple also launched its Apple Watch Series 7, with a larger screen and improved durability.

More recently, the company debuted its third-generation AirPods, and its new MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch powered by the company’s M1 Pro and M1 Max custom chips.

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