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Apple is about to tell us if it expects to start growing again

The company is no doubt getting some boost from Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 woes, but will it be enough?


After two consecutive quarters of declining sales, Apple investors will be scouring the company’s earnings report on Tuesday for signs of a return to growth.

An end to the decline would appear to hinge on sales of the all-important iPhone.

Apple is clearly benefiting from Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 problems, but it remains unclear just how many Note 7 buyers are gravitating to the iPhone rather than choosing a Galaxy S7 or other Android device.

T-Mobile operating chief Mike Sievert told Recode on Monday that it was too soon to say just how much Apple is gaining at Samsung’s expense.

“Because you are talking about a lot of customers, all things are happening,” Sievert said. “We are very delighted a lot of them are staying with the Galaxy family.”

Of course, it’s not just about those who had plunked down for a Note 7 before the phone was recalled. Just as important is how the issue weighs on those buying a new phone this holiday season as well as those in the market next year.

The other big factor is supply. Sievert said T-Mobile remains constrained on Apple products, though it expects to catch up to demand by November. That’s fairly similar to last year’s iPhone 6s, but less of a shortage than it saw in 2014 with the debut of the iPhone 6.

Overall, analysts are expecting Apple to post $47 billion in revenue, down from $51.5 billion a year ago, and earnings of $1.65 per share.

Apple will benefit in the December quarter from an extra week of sales; however, a year ago the company got a $548 million payment from Samsung related to the company’s ongoing patent dispute. All in all, the net impact should be a $1 billion benefit to Apple’s December sales, according to Piper Jaffray.

Here are some other metrics to watch, with the consensus forecast, according to Piper Jaffray.

  • September quarter revenue: $47 billion
  • September per-share earnings: $1.65
  • September iPhone sales: 45 million
  • September Mac sales: 5 million
  • September iPad sales: 8.5-9 million.
  • December quarter revenue guidance: $75 billion

It’s a busy week for Apple beyond the earnings report. It’s due to launch new Macs at an event in Cupertino on Thursday.

Another question is just when we’ll see Apple’s AirPod wireless headphones, which were promised for this month. It’s getting late in the month, so there could be an issue — or Apple could just announce availability sometime in the next five days.

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