Dilger: In defense of Apple’s unit sales blackout

Print Email

From Daniel Eran Dilger’s Five reasons why Apple is ending unit sales reporting of Mac, iPhone, and iPad, posted Wednesday on AppleInsider and Roughly Drafted.

 

The previous article in this series outlined why Apple’s change in accounting isn’t an attempt to hide bad news; the company will still be reporting revenue, and Apple just provided guidance for a record-setting holiday season this quarter. On its November 1 conference call, Apple’s chief financial officer Luca Maestri stated “we have the strongest lineup ever as we enter the holiday season and we expect revenue to be between $89 billion and $93 billion, a new all-time record.”

Even so, analysts and pundits have jumped on the change as a worrisome development. That, in itself, sheds some light on why Apple is moving to change how it reports its performance. But first, consider how Apple’s financial reporting has previously evolved as the company has grown, and why.

You really have to read Dilger in full to appreciate him, but I’ll give you the five bullet points:

  • The misleading nature of unit sales reporting: Macs in Japan
  • The misleading nature of unit sales reporting: early iPods
  • The misleading nature of unit sales reporting: late iPods
  • The misleading nature of unit sales reporting: iOS devices
  • The misleading nature of unit sales reporting: Macs

My take: OK, but investors apparently saw value in Apple’s unit sales reporting. Or at least that’s what they’re saying now that it’s gone.

See for example: Watch CNBC bears kick Apple on the way down (video)