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iPhone: Analysts and Reality

Live by the hype, die by the hype. Apple (AAPL) stock took a beating yesterday when AT&T announced that it had activated ??nly?146,000 iPhones during the two days in June the wonderphone was for sale. By any reasonable standard, even any unreasonable standard, that was a phenomenal launch, working out to an annual rate of nearly 27 million units. But investors’ expectations were so out of line with reality that they knocked $8.81 off the stock price. (A more meaningful test will come later today, when Apple reports earnings.)

The affair is reminiscent of the worst days of the dot-com bubble. Analysts, guided by little more than reckless enthusiasm, offer ridiculous predictions. In this case, Goldman Sachs took the prize with an estimate of 700,000 iPhone sales in the first weekend.

A word to the wise: Pay no attention to those folks behind the curtain. They know no more than you or I.

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