iPhone Preorders by the Numbers

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Some of the usual suspects have started to weigh in on Apple’s Watch and iPhone XS and XS Max preorders. Leading off, Ming-Chi Kuo says that sales are following the pattern that I suggested yesterday (I make no claims of genius or inside knowledge, just common sense). He reports that sales of the iPhone XS Max are meeting expectations, which I don’t think is a surprise. It has a novelty factor that the XS no longer holds. Speaking of the XS, Kuo says that pre-orders are “lower than expected.” I don’t find this surprising in the least, either, as the majority of people who wanted this design got an X last year.

Kuo also says that the Apple Watch Series 4 is selling above expectations so far. According to most media and user reports, it was by far and away the hit of the show, and it looks like pre-orders  are simply reflecting that.

Ming-Chi Kuo isn’t the only Apple analyst who has sprung into action this weekend. Gene Munster of Loup Ventures and his team (courtesy of Philip Elmer DeWitt) were up early and going hands-on during the early Friday AM pre-orders, polling the site and watching as ship times slipped further from launch day. Munster used the data they collected to gauge interest in each model of iPhone, including memory and color.

Munster’s more active approach yielded the same basic information as Ming-Chi Kuo- interest in the XS is lower than that of the XS Max. Mostly. It turns out the size matters, as well. Munster found that, while the XS Max 512 MB Space Gray was gone in a minute, and the XS Max 256 MB Silver was out in 20, the XS 256 MB Space Gray was right behind at 40 minutes.

Predictably, things drop down the list as you might expect based on these results, by both model and size. Munster’s spreadsheets showing all of the results are posted at PED 3.0, if you really want to get down into the weeds.

I think the primary point of all this is that novelty sells during pre-orders, and the only novelty with this year’s iPhones are the Max size and the 512 MB storage tier. As I said yesterday, and as Mr DeWitt agrees in his synopsis of Munster’s analysis, the real show is yet to come. The iPhone XR is going to clean up when its time comes.

What do you think? Anyone preorder an iPhone already? If so, which one did you get, and why? Are you waiting on the XR? If so, what made you go that direction? Let me know on Flipboard, our Facebook page, on Twitter, or on our new Instagram account.


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