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Why Did Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Disappoint When It Broke Records?

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After missing lofty sales estimates, investors send Apple shares lower. Analysts weigh in.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) had a record-breaking weekend, selling five million iPhone 5s on the first three days of its launch -- one million more phones than during the iPhone 4S launch last October. However, the iPhone producer missed the lower end of most analysts' estimates for its weekend launch; sales estimates were predicted to be between six million and 10 million units. (You can view the Apple press release from this morning here.)

Why did Apple miss expectations?

It appears that the fears of Apple's supply constraints for the new smartphone materialized. Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged this in the press release, saying, "We have sold out of our initial supply." He also said, "Demand for the iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible." Apple is still taking orders for the iPhone 5 online.

Analysts also believe a scarcity of new physical smartphones caused the sales miss. According to the AP, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White said the miss occurred because of limited supply. He said 80% to 85% of US Apple stores had run out of the phone by Sunday evening. Some Apple stores did not know when their next shipment of the smartphone would arrive.

ISI analyst Brian Marshall said he believes that Apple faced more supply constraints than originally anticipated.
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