NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) shares took their worst beating in a while Monday, dropping 3.2% to $450.12 on concerns that the company didn't announce pre-order sales for the 5c. Those concerns, however, are misguided.
This is the first time that Apple has released two phones at the same time, having announced the iPhone 5c and 5s at an event in Cupertino, Calif., last week. Traditionally, Apple announces only one phone so this is a big change for the company. As such, I wouldn't expect to hear pre-order numbers from Apple until next week, when the 5s finally goes on sale (customers can pre-order it online starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday).
In a press release, Apple today announced that the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will be available to customers on Friday, September 20 at 8:00 a.m. local time at Apple retail stores in addition to the pre-ordering online. Both phones will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK.
Pre-orders for the 5c went live on Friday on both Apple's Web site and carrier's Web sites. Sprint (S) already said delivery for the yellow version of the 16 GB version of the 5c is pushed back because of heavy demand. However, CNBC's Jon Fortt tweeted that Apple may announce a 5c pre-order figure Tuesday, though he wasn't sure one would come. If we get an iPhone 5c preorder tally from $AAPL -- and I'm not sure we will -- it will come Tuesday morning @CNBC— Jon Fortt (@jonfortt) September 14, 2013 If Apple doesn't announce something by next Monday, the first full weekend that both phones are available, then it becomes a different issue. Since announcing both phones on Sept. 10, Apple shares have dropped sharply, losing 9.7% in market cap. Much of that was caused by several downgrades on the stock, following concerns that the iPhone 5c was priced too high for emerging markets, particularly China. Also of concern to Wall Street and analysts was the lack of announcement between Apple and China Mobile (CHL), though Apple has been granted a license for China Mobile's network. AAPL data by YCharts
As far as actual figures go for the new iPhones, until Apple announces something it's just conjecture and speculation. Citi has said it expects Apple sold 2.2 million iPhone 5c devices this past weekend. Citi analyst Glen Yeung rates Apple shares "neutral."
This comes as Citi cut its growth estimates for the global smartphone market. For 2013, it expects 1.13 billion smartphones to ship, growing at 51% year over year. However, for 2014 Citi now expects 25% year-over-year growth for smartphones, down from a prior view of 27% growth. For 2015, Citi expects 14% growth in smartphones, down from a prior view of 21% growth, citing smartphone saturation in developed markets.
One thing that is certain is that one of Apple's Chinese carrier partners, China Unicom (CHU), announced more than 100,000 reservations were taken for the iPhone 5s and 5c, despite no subsidies being announced for the phones.
The markets will continue to speculate, as they usually do, until Apple announces something official. --Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >Contact by Email. Follow @Chris_Ciaccia