Apple CEO Tim Cook on rumors of slackening iPhone demand: They’re meaningless

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Surprisingly, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed one of the four core questions that everyone was hoping he might touch on during today’s earnings call. He commented on rumors, originally reported by the Wall Street Journal and Nikkei Newswire, that Apple’s orders to suppliers of parts for the iPhone 5 were cut by half.

I don’t want to comment on any particular rumor. But I would suggest it’s good to question the accuracy of any kind of rumor about build plans and stress that even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to accurately interpret the data point for what it means for the overall business. […] The supply chain is very complex, yields might vary, supplier performance can vary…There’s just an inordinately long list of things that would make any single data point not a great proxy for what’s going on.

Cook also added that both the iPhone 4 models and the iPhone 5 were constrained by limited supply throughout Apple’s first fiscal quarter and the holiday season. Which means that Apple still cannot make iPhones fast enough.

Read the rest of our coverage from Apple’s first quarter earnings report:

Apple’s $54.5 billion quarter, in charts

Why Apple doesn’t care that iPads are cannibalizing sales of Macs

No phablet for you, says Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple plans to give a third of its $137 billion cash hoard back to investors

The four questions everyone is hoping Apple will answer today

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