Some iPhone XS Max and Apple Watch Series 4 models sell out in under a minute

By

pre-orders
Did you get the device you wanted?
Photo: Apple

Did your alarm fail to go off? Were you on the fence about the new iPhones and Apple Watch Series 4, but now feel like you should place an order after all? Sorry to break it to you, but you might have left things too late.

According to frantic would-be customers, many of Apple’s new devices have already sold out. In fact, some models of the new iPhone and Apple Watch Series 4 sold out in less than a minute!

Judging by the reaction online, the big star players among hardcore Apple fans are the Apple Watch Series 4 — which comes with a blow away number of compelling features — and the iPhone XS Max. The Apple Watch Series 4’s steel models sold out first in a lot of places, followed by aluminum, and then the space black.

The iPhone XS Max makes a lot of sense as Apple’s most popular new iPhone, since it feeds into a year-long pent up demand for a plus-sized iPhone X version. The smaller iPhone XS, meanwhile, is only a marginal improvement on the existing iPhone X.

It’s not too late to try and place an order though. We have a whole post on pre-ordering your iPhone XS or XS Max. The same goes for the new Apple Watch Series 4. Here’s our guide to buying an Apple Watch Series 4.

Don’t use this as a way to gauge popularity

Ultimately, trying to gauge demand based on how quickly items sell out is a very inexact science — like looking at market share as a measure of profitability or shipments as a measure of sales. Sure, the two often align, but not always.

Apple still sells far more iPhones than Apple Watches, so the fact that the Apple Watch sold out first doesn’t necessarily tell us much, since Apple likely produced far fewer units. As with any early adopters, the people who set their alarms to order new Apple products are also not the same regular customers who will ultimately decide which new devices become smash hits and which become lesser hits or even misses. Pre-orders are typically skewed to the higher end of the market, since hardcore Apple fans are likely to want the best devices Apple makes.

It’s the same quandary analysts get into when they try and look at how quickly Apple matches supply with demand. Last year, Apple broke records by getting iPhone X’s into people’s hands far quicker than it had any right to. By December, Apple was offering next-day delivery of the iPhone X. We called it (slightly tongue-in-cheek) a “sprinkling of Christmas magic,” before analysts jumped on it as evidence that no-one actually wanted the iPhone X — and there was no demand as a result. When it turned out that, actually, Apple was selling record numbers of iPhones, a lot of people had to eat crow.

So, for now, let’s hold off on proclaiming that Apple’s doomed because the new iPhones haven’t all sold out within five minutes. The important question: did you get the device that you wanted? And how long will it take for you to receive it? Let us know in the comments below.