White iPhone 4 Gets No White Christmas, but Investors Shouldn't Worry

White iPhone 4 postponedWhat, no white iPhone 4 before the critical holiday shopping crush? Yup, but investors shouldn't fear.

Analysts say a white iPhone 4, which is now set to debut in the spring, would only add incremental sales to the rocket ride Apple experienced with its black iPhones during its fiscal fourth quarter. And the gravy train is unlikely to stop just because there's no white iPhone 4 in the mix, they note.

"That lack of a white iPhone 4 does not seem to be slowing demand at all. If it is, it is very minimal," said Shaw Wu, an analyst with Kaufman Bros, in an email interview. "Keep in mind Apple shipped 14 million iPhones last quarter, the most in its history and more than what Research in Motion [BlackBerry/RIMM] and [Google/GOOG] Android shipped in their latest quarters."

Apple (AAPL) said in early July, as its fiscal fourth quarter got underway, it expected the white iPhone 4 to hit the stores by the end of that month, citing manufacturing challenges. Those difficulties, however, continued through the end of July and Apple had to once again postpone shipping its device, this time until the end of the year.

"Considering they shipped more than 14 million iPhones, you can't say people refused to buy one without a white one," said Stephen Baker, an NPD Group analyst. "At the end of the day, multiple colors are a way to personalize things and add variety. It's more about individuality than adding incremental sales volume."

That assessment also applies to Apple's holiday shopping push. Analysts say it's no biggie that Apple's elusive white iPhone 4 will be absent from retail stores during the busy selling season.

"[It] seems relatively minor," Wu said. "Not sure if having it would really boost demand either, as it would take away from black iPhone [sales]."

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I am not sure you can imply a 9% decline per retail employee from the figures you have given? I presume you might need to take the average of the headcount for 2010 i.e. 16,500 (2009) and 26,500 (2010) and not the final headcount (26,500) in order to do the calculation per employee given the growth? The average headcount for the 2009-2010 period is 21,500 which implies a growth in revenue of 21%? Does anyone else agree?

October 28 2010 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The announcement might actually increase revenues as the poor little nerds who are crying because they can't get a white phone will probably get the black one available now and buy a white case. By the time Apple gets its act together on a white phone it will be the iphone5 anyway. The 4 is a lemon.

October 27 2010 at 7:52 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply