Apple Shares Plunge as Company Won’t Release Early iPhone Sales Numbers

apple-aapl-logoIn a sign that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is no longer as confident about its iPhone sales numbers than it was in the recent past, the company said it would no longer provide opening weekend sales numbers beginning with the upcoming iPhone 7.

Apple just sent CNBC this statement:

“We expect iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be incredibly popular with customers and we are thrilled to begin taking pre-orders on September 9. Customers will receive their new iPhones starting September 16.

In years past, we’ve announced how many new iPhones had been sold as of the first weekend following launch. But as we have expanded our distribution through carriers and resellers to hundreds of thousands of locations around the world, we are now at a point where we know before taking the first customer pre-order that we will sell out of iPhone 7.

These initial sales will be governed by supply, not demand, and we have decided that it is no longer a representative metric for our investors and customers. Therefore we won’t be releasing a first-weekend number any longer. We are reiterating the financial guidance for the September quarter that we provided on July 26.”

Estimize founder Leigh Drogen chimed in with some negative commentary on Twitter following the news:

a company giving less information is always bad for the stock, investors have less visibility, more volatility, lower multiple $AAPL

— Leigh Drogen (@LDrogen) September 8, 2016

The move is reminiscent of when several brick-and-mortar retailers who traditionally provided monthly same-store sales updates ceased the practice amid persistently low comps. That’s not to say that Apple’s new iPhone will flop, but there’s really no way to spin this news as bullish for the device or the company.

It remains to be seen whether this development is due more to weak demand or sluggish production of the device.

Yesterday, Apple held its much-anticipated iPhone 7 event, where it unveiled the new iPhone 7 that features a water-resistant design, a better camera, a lack of headphone jack, and more. It also announced a new Apple Watch as well as a big deal with Nintendo to bring Mario to iOS soon.

AAPL-2016-09-08

Apple shares fell $2.34 (-2.16%) to $106.02 in Thursday morning trading. AAPL has now risen 4.56% year-to-date, trailing the 7.4% return of the S&P 500 index during the same period.

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