Apple Analyst Prediction, Regional Telco Margin Pressure and Intel PRODUCING

Brian Blair of Wedge Partners expects the next iPhone to drive a huge December quarter, but it’s the meantime that has him worried. Primarily an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) bull, Blair believes that only 28 million to 30 million iPhones were sold in the June quarter, which would be markedly down from the 35.1 million in the March quarter. With smartphone growth predictions falling all over the place, he suggests a cautious approach to Apple near-term if consensus forecasts top 31 million.

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), Frontier (NYSE:FTR), and Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN) are among rural telcos whose margins are being pressured by low rural broadband penetration, phone line cancellations, and fierce rivalry from cable providers. In the meantime, a group which represents rural U.S. carriers is protesting an FCC cap on rural phone subsidies, claiming it will cost jobs and also bring higher service prices.

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Despite much negative commentary and corresponding data regarding PC and hard drive shipments, BlueFin Research believes that Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) production rose between 4 and 5 percent quarter-to-quarter in the second quarter, which the analyst interprets as a sign of healthy demand. Also, production of Intel’s 22nm Ivy Bridge CPUs is thought to have risen in a range of 22 to 25 percent, and will comprise 25 percent of second quarter shipments. However, a question of customer inventories remains, even though shipments are in good stead.

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