Sterne Agee analyst: iPhone 5 demand 'remains robust'

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal report that Apple had cut iPhone 5 parts orders due to weak demand for the phone may have been incorrect. Shaw Wu, an Apple analyst with Sterne Agee known for his insightful questions during Apple earnings calls, said in a note to investors today that suppliers still show demand that "remains robust."

Wu and several other Wall Street analysts believe that the rumored component order cuts have nothing to do with customer demand. Their take is that yields on the components have improved as suppliers gain experience, and Apple needs to place fewer orders to end up with the parts required to build the iPhones. He also stated that Apple shifting production between suppliers may have contributed to the appearance of cuts.

The other analysts include Mark Moskowitz of J.P. Morgan, who said that the reports of lessened demand are "just noise," and Wells Fargo's Maynard Um, who was quoted as saying that any cuts are "not news."

Sterne Agee is still bullish on Apple, with a "buy" recommendation on the stock and a price target of US$840. For Wu's part, he's forecasting sales of 47.5 million iPhones for the December quarter, above the market consensus of 46 to 47 million.