Apple’s most advanced and priciest iPhone, the iPhone X, won’t go on sale until November 3, but it’s already affecting the sales of iPhones currently on the market.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the other new models that Apple introduced in September, are seeing demand in-line with expectations, Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White wrote in a note to clients on Monday.
However, demand for the 8 series iPhones is “muted,” in his view, which is informed by discussions with contacts in the China and Taiwan tech industry.
He also says that his contacts see a “theme” around consumers opting for the iPhone 7 model, which was launched in late 2016 and was discounted to a starting price of $US549. The iPhone 8 is priced at $US699 and up. However, consumers that do buy the iPhone 8 seem to be opting for the higher-priced and larger iPhone 8 Plus, he writes.
KeyBanc analysts also wrote in a note to clients on Monday that iPhone 7 models may be outselling iPhone 8 models based on checks with carriers.
According to White’s Asian contacts, many people in the technology industry believe that consumers are waiting to buy the iPhone X, which starts at $US999 and has a new kind of screen that covers nearly the entire front of the phone.
White is among the most bullish Apple analysts with a price target of $US208. Apple stock was up more than 1.6% on Monday.
iPhone X now shipping
The other issue that could impact Apple stock is that while demand may be sky-high for the iPhone X, Apple might not be able to produce enough supply until early next year.
For consumers, that would potentially mean that iPhone X models would be hard to find during the holiday quarter, which is typically Apple’s largest by sales.
“Given the DOE mounting yield issues around the 3D sensing module, we believe Apple will be challenged to fulfil strong demand for the iPhone X in 4Q:CY17, thus some shipments will spill over into 1Q:CY18,” White wrote.
Basically: Apple’s having trouble manufacturing the 3D camera on the iPhone X, so it might be in short supply until early next year.
Nobody knows except for Apple how many iPhone X units will be manufactured and sold before the end of the year. One tapped-in analyst has been estimating 30 million to 35 million units, which would be distributed to 57 different countries.
The first iPhone X shipments have left China, according to Chinese state media. 46,500 iPhone X units cleared customs last week, according to Xinhua, headed to the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates. However, that figure is said to be lower than previous first shipments of new iPhones.