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iPhone 11 may be a lot more popular than anyone expected

Published Sep 20th, 2019 11:07PM EDT
iPhone 11
Image: Apple

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Leading up to the iPhone 11 introduction at last week’s media event, there was a sense that this year’s iPhone lineup would be something of a stop-gap measure before the release of the iPhone 5G in 2020. To our pleasant surprise, however, the iPhone 11 is arguably one of the most exciting upgrades we’ve seen in years, thanks in large part to advanced camera technologies and impressive features like Night mode.

What’s more, Apple made the entry-level iPhone 11 a tad more affordable with a sticker price of $699, or $399 with an eligible trade-in. Taken together, demand for Apple’s iPhone 11 models appears to be much stronger than many initially anticipated.

To this point, pre-orders for the iPhone 11 reportedly checked in significantly higher relative to pre-orders for Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup. Further, reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (who is typically on the ball when it comes to all things Apple) issued an investor note relaying that iPhone pre-order demand was easily besting initial expectations.

And now, with the iPhone 11 officially available for purchase, there are even more data points which suggest that Apple may have a bonafide hit on its hands. While iPhone sales are typically impressive, word of the iPhone 11’s popularity is especially noteworthy given that iPhone sales growth over the past few quarters has largely been stagnant.

All that said, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives earlier today released an investor note claiming that iPhone demand is off to a strong and impressive start. Of particular interest is that demand for the iPhone 11 in China is said to be two times as strong as it was for last year’s iPhone XR.

As to iPhone sales in the U.S., Ive opines:

Demand looks strong out of the gates for Apple as the lines at its flagship NYC store were up ~70% today compared to what we saw last year based on our analysis. Given our conversations with customers in line today we believe there is strong demand for the base iPhone 11 version, as well as the 256GB iPhone 11 Pro in both the Space Grey and Gold colors. To this point, lines were unwavering into the afternoon which is a positive data point for Cupertino as last year we witnessed the crowds start to quickly dissipate after the morning rush.

Apple, of course, no longer releases unit sales for the iPhone — or any of its products, for that matter — so we’ll have no way of knowing exactly how strong iPhone 11 sales are. That notwithstanding, comparing iPhone-based revenue from quarter to quarter — once Apple posts its earnings report for the September quarter — should give us something of an idea as to how strong iPhone sales are.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.