For more than three years, Apple(NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly warned Wall Street analysts not to try to predict iPhone sales based on supply chain rumors. Supply chain rumors aren't always wrong -- but they are unreliable. Due to the complexity of Apple's supply chain, it's dangerous to assume that any one data point is representative of Apple's underlying performance.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the analysts have ignored that advice. In the race to get a leg up on rivals, analysts spend countless hours talking to iPhone suppliers in the hope of getting hints about how Apple's flagship product is doing.
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