Gene Munster calls iPhone XR narrative 'pure fiction,' blames self

Philip Elmer-DeWitt

From “Short Lines Don’t Spell Doom for iPhone Xr,” posted Friday to Loup Ventures’ subscribers:


The prevailing narrative surrounding the new iPhone Xr is that it’s a disappointment. A second class device that will never live up to the iPhone Xs.

Despite short launch day lines, we think that narrative is pure fiction. iPhone Xr ≠ iPhone 5c.

We’ll take some of the blame here. We’ve focused on demand-side indicators, including online lead times and our regular launch day line counts and surveys…

Munster offers three reasons why, for example, only 30 queued up Friday at an Apple Store that once hosted 1,880:

  • The iPhone Xs drew the early, line-waiting adopters. Our data shows there is less excitement for the Xr amongst early adopters.
  • Online orders continue to take away from launch day demand at Apple stores.
  • Short lead times for iPhone Xr (now averaging less than 2 weeks) don’t incentivize people to wait in line to get a phone earlier.

My take: I agree, and would add the absence of grey market buyers, now that Apple launches simultaneously in 50 countries, including China.

If Munster seems a tad defensive it’s because he practically invented the iPhone headcount. He’s got Apple’s 5th Ave. store back to July 2008 and the iPhone 3G.

iphone xr line counts
Click to enlarge.