The widespread meme is that Apple (AAPL) is done, Apple is fading, or Tim Cook is functionally challanged, or a combination of the three. The reality is that, after Apple announced that it sold more than 9 million iPhone 5c and 5s phones in three days, kids are obsessed with Apple’s new iOS 7, and the new iPhones are selling like mad.
Apple this morning reported that it sold a higher-than-expected 9 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models in the first three days following their Friday launch, leading to more optimism in the company’s sales forecasts.
I have some anecdotal evidence to offer. Last week, my unscientific survey of kids at a local high school indicated that they were completely obsessed with iOS 7. Another indicator is that the Raynovich household has added two more iOS-powered devices in the last 3 months, with clamor for more among the children (sorry, they’re not getting them).
This is like Apple in the old days — issuing modest expectations and revising upwards. In mid-day trading, Apple shares were up 4%, or $19 to $486 on the news. Apple was one of the most active Nasdaq issues traded with nearly 17 million shares traded at mid-day.
Apple also said that more than 200 million devices are now running the iOS 7, making it the “fastest software upgrade in history.”
The new 5s phone, which is the higher-end flavor, is outselling the lower-priced 5c (pricing for the 5c starts at $99, but for the first time in history, retail outlets Target and Walmart have been allowed to discount Apple products, selling the 5c for as low as $79). According to analysis firm Localytics, the higher-end iPhone 5s outsold the 5c by a factor of 3.4X. the iPhone 5s and 5c combined now represent about 1.36% of the total numbers of all iPhones activated, says Localytics.
Perhaps this will silence Apple’s critics for a bit. The truth of the matter is, consensus has probably gotten far too negative on Apple. With the stock trading at 11 times forward earnings and it paying a dividend of almost 3%, it seems that the most negative scenarios are priced into the market and the company has lots of room for upward surprises, especially given today’s news.
(Disclosure: The author and members of his direct family own Apple shares.)