If you are unfamiliar with the recent flap over TheStreet.com’s reporting of Wall Street’s so-called “whisper number” for the iPhone sales launch, take a minute and go read this post over at OneButtonMouse. Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.
I was content to let this story lie thanks to the great post Anthony had written concerning Scott Moritz’s seemingly fabricated 1 million unit mark that was “whispered” to TheStreet.com prior to the iPhone launch. I had written to both Moritz and his editors and vented my frustrations with his piece. In addition, John Gruber’s Daring Fireball and even MacNN had brought attention to it. Well, today I spied a new story from these financial wizards that I just couldn’t let pass.
Today, writer Marek Fuchs has a new piece up called “Can’t Get a Clear Signal on iPhone Sales“. What’s the story about you ask? Well, it’s about how there’s confusion on just what the expectations were towards how many iPhones Apple would sell in the initial launch. That’s right folks, TheStreet.com is now claiming that it’s impossible to tell just how the iPhone did this weekend because analysts’ public estimates are different from the so-called “whisper number” that Moritz reported on after the launch on Tuesday, July 3rd. The “experts” (and I use that term loosely) over at TheStreet.com know they were the ones spreading the FUD of expected sales of 1 million units, and were called on it. Now they’ve decided to cover their asses with a piece about how no one can really know how many were sold. I particularly love this bit from page 3:
“First, when it comes to such a well-hyped product, never base your decision on one article. If you do, The Business Press Maven will come to your house and put you in time-out.”
In other words, don’t listen to what we reported to you last Tuesday, just listen to what we’re telling you now. Never mind that Mortiz’s report possibly depressed stock prices early in the week and made investors second guess AAPL, never mind that the 1 million number seems to have come straight from the mouth of a competing cell carrier, and above all, never mind the fact that TheStreet.com was the only one to report the number, and only did so after the launch. All these facts should be ignored, because after all, it’s a whisper number! The problem with whisper numbers is that no one is accountable for them. They’re like gossip on the wind that no one can trace back to its source. For all investors know, Mortiz might have just as well pulled the number out of a hat.
Despite all the fear, uncertainty and doubt that TheStreet.com generated this week, AAPL weathered the storm quite nicely and gained in value an average of 7.8%. For all the nay-saying about the iPhone from various sources, Apple has proven that they can, and did generate unparalleled interest in the iPhone. Gizmodo reported this week that the 1 million mark was in fact met in the form of iPhone activations. In addition, Bloomberg reported there were more iPhones sold in these three days than the über-popular Razr sold the entire month of its launch. That’s what we in the business call street cred. Maybe Scott Moritz and company should get some.
Disclosure: Being the huge fan boy I am, I own stock in Apple. Duh.