Editors' Pick: Originally published Jan. 21.
Nearly every analyst on Wall Street has cut their estimates for Apple (AAPL) iPhone shipments this quarter, on concerns the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are not selling well because of a perceived lack of a reason to upgrade.
There's a chance they're all wrong, though.
Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin believes the reason we've seen a lot of Wall Street analysts cutting their total iPhone estimates for this quarter is that we may see a higher-than-normal percentage of older phones sold.
"New phones are usually between 70% and 80% of sales," Bajarin said in a phone interview. "This quarter, it could be between 60% and 70%, as more emerging markets are going towards the [iPhone] 6 than the [iPhone] 6s. This hasn't happened before and could be a new wrinkle in people's models."
Apple is expected to sell between 75 and 76 million iPhones for the December quarter, its most important. At the mid-point, that would represent just an extra one million iPhones sold compared to the first quarter of 2015, representing 1.3% year-over-year growth, not exactly the kind of numbers Apple investors are used to hearing.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect the Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple to earn $3.23 a share on $76.6 billion in revenue.
Wall Street analysts have taken their cues from Apple's supply chain in recent months, many of whom have mentioned weakness about ordering from major customers (read: Apple).
Bajarin, who believes Apple will sell 76.5 million iPhone units, said part of the reason for the slightly weaker-than-expected growth is that the company's advertising campaign hasn't helped. A fair number of Apple's iPhone 6s ads have started with the line "Not much has changed..." which may have had an impact on sales.