It’s been 12 hours since pre-orders began, but Gene Munster remains optimistic about iPhone XR sales.
From a note to Loup Ventures subscribers that landed on my desktop Friday afternoon:
Apple began taking preorders for the iPhone Xr on Friday at 3 a.m. ET. Between then and noon ET, we measured online lead times for delivery 9 times. The following are our takeaways:
- We were surprised to see that lead times remained entirely unchanged except for several SKUs on T-Mobile.
- By comparison, in September, the iPhone Xs and Xs Max had lead times as long as 3-4 weeks, and last year’s (Oct 2017) iPhone X had lead times of 5-6 weeks. As of noon ET, you can still order a Xr and have it delivered on October 26.
- Drawing insights from lead times is not a science, given we don’t know how many phones Apple is able to produce. That said, over the years (dating back to the iPod), longer lead times have historically been an indicator of healthy demand and shorter lead times softer demand.
- Despite this negative initial data point, we remain optimistic that the Xr will be the top-selling iPhone over the next 12 months, given it represents the greatest value. We continue to expect the Xr to account for 38% of new units in FY19.
My take: If it’s a choice between ample supply and weak demand, ample supply is probably the safer bet. With Apple’s early gains today holding up in early afternoon, the Street seems to be buying it.
Below: Apple’s iPhone XR video ad, one of the weirdest yet.