iPhone XS preorder volume fails to impress analysts

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iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
iPhone XS sales were probably lower than Apple hoped. Still, the likely reason is another iPhone model.
Photo: Apple

Apple started taking pre-orders for both iPhone XS series models on Friday. One analyst says sales of these new models weren’t as strong as the first weekend of the iPhone X.

It seems that interest in the more affordable iPhone XR is cutting into demand for Apple’s new flagship smartphones.

“We believe iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max preorders to be weaker compared to the iPhone X preorders, which we had estimated last year to be about 12 million in the first three days, with lead times of 3-5 weeks,” wrote to Jun Zhang, an analyst with Rosenblatt Securities, in a note to investors this morning. He says people ordered about 10 million XS devices over the long weekend.

It may be a bit hard to reconcile Zhang’s comments with the reports that Apple sold out of some iPhone XS Max versions in minutes on Friday morning. Just keep in mind, running out of units just indicates that demand exceeds Apple’s current supply. If that supply wasn’t great to begin with, then it doesn’t take tremendous demand to deplete it. 

Looking ahead, Zhang also predicted that Apple will produce 35 million to 36 million iPhone XS devices before the end of this year, compared to the 36 iPhone X units produced in 2017.

iPhone XR might be a bigger star

Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with rival KeyBanc Capital Markets, sent his own note to investors predicting that the upcoming iPhone XR will easily outsell the two XS models. He says the cheaper XR model will be 55 percent to 60 percent of Apple iPhone orders for the rest of this year, while the two pricier XS handsets will be 35 percent to 45 percent. 

The XR has a 6.1-inch screen, larger than the 5.8-inch one in the iPhone XS. And it’s $250 less. Still, it has a slower processor, less RAM, and a single-lens camera.

The iPhone XR won’t go up for pre-order until next month.

Source: MarketWatch