The iPhone XR went up for preorder on Friday, October 19. And while the device didn’t sell out, at least one analyst believes that doesn’t necessarily paint a perilous picture by any means.
TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has weighed in on Monday morning, outlining what he has seen from those preorder numbers for Apple’s new colorful, less expensive iPhone for 2018. Kuo notes that most of the folks who are purchasing the iPhone XS and XS Max immediately are “used to operating iOS”, which basically boils down to Apple fans who already plan on upgrading every year. So while the iPhone XS may see shipment delays directly from Apple on preorder day and a few days after that, the fact that the iPhone XR didn’t see the same thing happen doesn’t mean demand for the iPhone XR is low.
In fact, Kuo is keeping in line with this previous estimations regarding the iPhone XR, reiterating that iPhone XR replacement demand is higher than what it was for the iPhone 8:
“XR target customers are general users who are used to operating iOS,” writes Kuo. “Although the demands of XR is lower than XS after the initial pre-order/sale, the overall XR shipment momentum is more stable because of XR’s better replacement demand than that of iPhone 8 series last year.”
There has been plenty of back-and-forth from analysts already, just a few days after iPhone XR preorders went live, as to how well the device has been doing. Some analysts have suggested the fact that the device didn’t see the same delayed shipments as the iPhone XS or XS Max means that the handset didn’t see as much demand. Kuo does not believe that is the case.
Moreover, Kuo points out that the general iPhone buyer is typically going to buy their new phone directly from the carrier, rather than Apple directly (even with the iPhone Upgrade Program available). So while Apple may not be seeing a major constraint on shipment dates, some of those carriers are. Indeed, some carriers are showing a bit of a delay for some iPhone XR models (with shipment dates changing based on storage and color).
We’re going to have to wait for Apple’s corresponding quarterly earnings call to get a feel for how things are shaking out for Apple’s newest iPhone models, both the iPhone XS and iPhone XR. Speculation from analysts is definitely not going to stop, though.
How well do you think the iPhone XR is doing so far?