In a note to investors, Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar claims that Apple's supply issues regarding the iPhone 4S are due not only to extremely high demand but also a key component not being readily available.
That component? Kumar isn't telling. Or, doesn't know. Either way, there's no telling what the "key component" in the iPhone 4S that is causing supply issues is. According to AppleInsider, Kumar claims the low availability of the iPhone 4S will continue through the holiday quarter, generally Apple's busiest and most lucrative time of the year.
A month after its release, the iPhone 4S has maintained its high-demand status and, as The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, customers at AT&T and Verizon have waited up to three weeks to receive their devices. A quick check on Apple's own Web site shows ship times at 1 to 2 weeks for all models.
Kumar goes on to diss most of the rest of the mobile phone industry noting that Apple's nearly 3-year-old iPhone 3GS is still outperforming many newer Android and Windows Phone devices.
Clearly the smartphone makers worldwide have a lot to do to catch up to the profit levels of Apple's iPhone lineup. The early knock on the iPhone was its high price of entry, which has been quelled with the availability of the 99-cent iPhone 3GS (AT&T only) and the $99 iPhone 4. It seems to me that HTC, RIM, Samsung, and the other manufacturers out there are going to have to reevaluate how they make and market phones to keep up with Apple.
Is Apple's profit lead insurmountable at this point or is there a phone company out there with a chance? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!