Jefferies’ analysts paint bleak picture for Apple; claim iPhone 5S, iPad mini refresh delayed

Jefferies analysts Peter Misek, Jason North and Billy Kim expect challenging couple of quarters for Apple as the company faces pre-production issues for its upcoming iPhone and a delayed launch of the iPad mini refresh owing to low yields for the next-gen iPad mini’s Retina Displays. The analysts expect Apple to have sold 34 million iPhones and 18 million of iPads in the January-March quarter and forecast 26 million iPhone units for the next quarter, ValueWalk reports.

During their visit to Asia, the trio learnt that Apple is facing pre-production issues for the iPhone 5S and estimate mass production to be a few months away. They also expect the low-cost iPhone to not ship before the fourth quarter. They also don’t believe Apple would launch the iPad mini with Retina Display during this quarter as the yields of the Retina Display are low. At best, Apple might launch it with limited supply, something the company has done in the past.

What’s more, they also did not see any indications of the iWatch being produced or even the iPhone 6 in the third quarter. They also dismiss the chances of an iTV this year as they claim Apple is insisting on a 4K display for the television that would have an average selling price of $2,500.

Overall, it does look pretty dismal for Apple, IF the analysts are right. Apple’s stock has taken a beating on the Street, currently down by over five percent, licking the $400 mark. Having said that, earlier this week we learnt of Foxconn ramping up its hiring at a production facility that is linked to iPhone manufacturing. Could it be possible that Apple has overcome the pre-production challenges and is now set for mass production of either the next-generation iPhone or the low-cost iPhone?