Following the release of Apple's March quarter results earlier this week there are several trends impacting near-term revenue and earnings growth that have either been confirmed by the March quarter results or more conspicuously revealed by the results. I will be tracking the following trends throughout the June quarter:
The Global Tablet Market: I've said several times outside of the Apple iPad, a global consumer market for tablet devices does not currently exist. While iPad unit shipments in the March quarter were below the expectations of most analysts due primarily to supply constraints, the tablet market is in a nascent phase of development. The Apple iPad will remain the undisputed leader in the tablet market well into CY 2012. The market can not at this time economically support a large number of potential competitors and Apple's global retail store presence is a competitive advantage competitors simply can not match.
The Apple iPhone Reigns Supreme: The Apple iPhone is Apple's preeminent revenue product. For the next several quarters the Apple iPhone will continue to dominate the global smartphone market. Revenue share is far more important than unit sales and the perceived threat to the iPhone eco-system from Android-based smartphones is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
The successor to the iPhone 4 (to debut later this year) will be a success on scale previously unseen even by iPhone standards. Within 90 days of release of the iPhone 4's successor, Apple will ship in the range of 30 million iPhone handsets (all models combined) provided supply can keep pace with demand.
The Apple iPad Has A Definitive Halo Effect: The Apple iPad is a draw to Apple's retail stores. In the December quarter retail store revenue rose 95% and rose 90% in the March quarter. As much as the Apple iPad is putting pressure on global PC shipments, heavy store traffic is boosting macintosh sales. Since the release of the Apple iPad, retail store revenue growth has outpaced the pace of revenue growth of the company as a whole.