iPhone X Preorders Explode, Shipments Push Into December

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Whether it is due to limited supply or record-breaking demand, if you haven’t ordered the new Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone X by now, you’re going to have to wait until at least December to get one. Apple began taking orders for the device at one minute after midnight Friday morning.

According to AppleInsider, by 12.11 a.m. PT, shipments were pegged at two to three weeks out for the phones, which are scheduled to launch next Friday, November 3. In less than an hour that delivery time had been extended to four to five weeks, and in less than two hours the delivery time had been pushed out to five to six weeks.

Problems with supply of key iPhone X components like the OLED display and the 3D camera have been discussed at length. The number of units available by the launch date could be as low as 2 million to 3 million units, a far cry from the more than 10 million units Apple sold on the launch of the iPhone 6.

Long-time Apple analyst Gene Munster of Loup Ventures noted that typically it takes two to three months for global iPhone supply and demand to come into balance. For the iPhone X he expects equilibrium sometime in the March quarter, three or four months after launch.

For Apple’s fiscal year 2018, Munster forecasts that the 64 GB iPhone X will account for 15% of total iPhone shipments for the year at $999 a pop. The 256 GB version, priced at $1,149, is expected to produce 7% of global sales.

The cheapest iPhones — the 32 GB and 128 GB  iPhone SE at $349 and $449, respectively — are expected to account for 18% of total 2018 shipments, while the new 256 GB iPhone 8 ($849) is tabbed to grab 9% of shipments. The new 256 GB iPhone 8 Plus ($949) and the 64 GB 8 Plus are tagged for 7% and 5%, respectively, of 2018 shipments. The 64 GB iPhone 8 ($699) is forecast to reel in 8% of shipments.

Regarding lead times for shipping, Munster notes:

While far from an exact science, we want to give a framework about how we are thinking about lead times. In general, if we see lead times of 4-6 weeks the morning of Oct. 27th as a sign that demand for the iPhone X is trending more favorable than investor expectations. If by Sunday, the 29th lead times are below two weeks we’d be concerned about underlying demand.

Doesn’t look like Munster — or Apple — has anything to be concerned about.

Apple stock traded up about 2.2% Friday morning, at $160.92 in a 52-week range of $104.08 to $164.94. The consensus price target is $174.90.