Want to know what's happening to product demand? Look at the underlying stock for hints. Shares have plummeted since the iPhone was introduced.
According to Bernstein Research's analyst Toni Sacconaghi, although the iPhone has the potential to drive material earnings growth for Apple, two "significant challenges" remain: demand appears to be falling short of expectations, and the incidence of unlocking is higher than expected.
Sacconaghi sites the higher gross margin of the iPhone could drive 70%-80% of the company's profit growth. However European sales, and the fact that approximately 25%-30% of iPhones sold to date have been unlocked for use with carriers other than the one authorized by Apple--the potential loss to Apple is huge. If that's true, will other areas follow carriers a carrier's recent lead in China turning down the chance to have an exclusive on the iPhone.