A few things I’d like analysts to ask about at the Apple Fiscal Q3 2012 conference call tomorrow

1)  Sellthrough numbers for iPhone and iPad.  Apple doesn’t reliably provide these very important data points.  What were they this quarter, what were they in the year-ago fiscal Q4?  That will hopefully generate some follow-up commentary by Oppenheimer and/or Cook by itself – if not, that’s what follow-up questions are for.

2)  Related – color on iPhone/iPad growth and competitiveness.  You could back up smartphone rate of growth stuff before, Apple – but you can’t seem to outperform any longer, at least not right now.  I hope analysts press further on this and get more info from Apple than platitudes about “customer sat”, usage, etc.  Get your “money’s worth” out of the conference call, guys.  You’re there to challenge the reversal of trends that a company used to play up.  If iPad unit sales growth drops off YOY, press for specifics if Oppenheimer doesn’t volunteer them (see:  sellthrough comparisons).

3)  GM strategy.  Tricky, but try your best to get some idea of what’s “normal” moving forward.  Personally, I’d be fine with margins staying about where they are, but if cheaper, new form factor iPhones are on the way, I wouldn’t be surprised to see GM drop further to 33-35%.

4)  OpEx.   It would be nice to get some color from Apple why it keeps going up independent of guided revenue levels – that is, if OpEx is guided higher sequentially.  I have my own theory of course, but getting commentary from the source is infinitely better.

5)  Anything having to do with future products.  (No, of course not, but you know someone will anyway.  Sigh.)

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