Apple loyalists still line up for the newest thing, but not necessarily for the thing you think.
Cherrypicking from Maurice Klaehne’s 9 Things We Learned From The US iPhone XS and XS Max Day 1 Launch, posted last week by Counterpoint Research:
- The time for huge lines and new launch excitement has passed. People are still coming in to be the first to get a new device, but it is much tamer than in the years past. Only a small amount of Apple enthusiasts still enjoy camping overnight in front of metro Apple stores instead of pre-ordering online. With the ease of online sales, lines are no longer the best gauge of sale success.
- Carrier stores were open but saw smaller customer demand. This is likely because most customers who wanted to upgrade were on the iPhone Upgrade Program and had to go to an Apple store instead of their carrier. While carriers are offering good promotions, many customers are also not currently eligible for upgrades yet. Aside from this, customers also won’t wait in line at 8:00 am to get the new upgrade. Sales in this channel will happen more gradually when subscribers have time or are conveniently in an area of their carrier store.
- Almost half of all customers in line were getting the Apple Watch Series 4. There was a lot of excitement around the new Apple Watch, a surprising trend which is likely fueled by the new features that the watch offers. Apple store checks saw rampant Apple Watch interest while carrier channels were much slower.
My take: Nearly half were in line for the watch? First I’ve heard that. I think maybe Klaehne buried the lede.