The sales of the iPhone 6s have been “disappointing,” according to research from one investment bank.
In a research note sent on Sunday, Pacific Crest says it believes the latest smartphone from Apple will sell well below analysts’ expectations — 67 million iPhones versus consensus expectations of 76 million shipments throughout calendar Q4.
The new device went on sale on September 25, and Apple has previously suggested it has sold extremely well — making Pacific Crest’s claim surprising. On September 28, the Californian company said it had set a new record for sales after launch: 13 million in just three days.
But according to Pacific Crest, supply has since dropped, prompting Apple to reduce component orders from its suppliers.
Here’s what Pacific Crest bases its claims on:
- “Supply chain conversations” with sources apparently suggest “Apple has lowered Q4 component orders in response to disappointing sales following the first week of launch.”
- Demand has been below expectations, according to a survey carried out by the bank. “In contrast to the launch of the iPhone 6 last year, we note: … less than 10% of the carrier stores we surveyed have been sold out of iPhones; last year, carriers didn’t have iPhone stock on hand until November.”
- Additionally, “almost all carriers surveyed indicated that iPhone 6s sales were down y/y, compared to the iPhone 6.”
On October 27 Apple will announce its Q4 earnings for 2014. (Note that Apple’s fiscal calendar starts and ends in late September). When that happens, we should get a clearer idea of how sales have been to date. (We’ve also reached out to Apple for comment on Pacific Crest’s claims, and will update this story when it responds).
It will be Q1 of 2016 — the first full quarter that the iPhone 6s has been on sale — that will really be the one to watch. Last year, Apple smashed records with the iPhone 6, selling 74.4 million units, and giving the company the most profitable quarter of any company ever. A year prior, for Q1 of 2014, it sold 51 million iPhones.
Here’s a relevant section from Pacific Crest’s note:
Supply chain feedback indicate lowered Q4 iPhone outlook. While feedback from our Asia trip several weeks ago indicated no change to Q4 iPhone orders following initial “online” presales, supply chain conversations indicate Apple has lowered Q4 component orders in response to disappointing sales following the first week of launch. Feedback indicates a reduction in Q4 component orders of ~15%. As such, we see increased risk to Q4 Apple component estimates and consensus’ estimated iPhone shipments of 76 million. Our estimate currently stands at 67 million units.
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