One set of numbers that Apple analysts love to look at is NPD’s sales data, which gives us an idea of what (and how many) Apple products consumers are buying. Other analysts, like FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger, like to look at supply chain data and production data. These numbers give us some insight into what sorts of orders Apple is making, as well as what the company is thinking and how it is predicting the current (and next) quarter will go. AppleInsider has coverage of Berger’s most recent set of checks, which show increased iPod production and decreased Mac production, but which point to a generally good quarter for Apple.
iPod production has been increased by 15 percent since March, with the iPod shuffle making up most of the extra units. The classic and nano have also seen small production boosts, but production of the iPod touch is down, probably because Apple has seen or is predicting lower demand for iPod touches while people wait for the 3G iPhone. Production of Macs is down by about 15 percent this quarter, with MacBook Pro production seeing the largest decrease. Berger doesn’t believe that the Mac production cuts this quarter are a cause for a alarm, though, since the company built a whole lot of notebooks last quarter.
Last, but not least, is the iPhone. iPhone production has decreased by a bit less than 10 percent this quarter, but should increase in June and in coming quarters thanks to the launch of the highly-anticipated 3G version. In fact, iPhone volumes could more than double as the new model heads on its worldwide tour, and Berger suggests that Apple could be ordering more than 10 million iPhones, for total 2008 sales approaching 11 million if all goes well. All in all, the production figures suggest that Apple is still seeing plenty of orders and is forecasting plenty of demand, so the state of the economy doesn’t seem to be having too much of an impact on the company just yet.”
(Via arstechnica .)