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The world’s top Apple insider just revealed a big surprise about iPhone 12 sales

Published Oct 19th, 2020 6:50AM EDT
iPhone 12 Pro Sold Out
Image: Apple

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  • An Apple insider familiar with the company’s plans says the iPhone 12 demand is higher than expected, particularly with Apple’s high-end iPhone 12 Pro.
  • Several versions of the iPhone 12 Pro started selling out within hours after preorders started this past Friday.
  • The analyst revised his estimates for the iPhone 12 split and now says the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will outsell Apple’s lower-priced models this quarter.
  • This comes as a big surprise considering Apple’s more affordable iPhones always sell faster than Pro models that all cost $1,000 or more.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro started selling online on October 16th, and they’ll hit stores on Friday. Those who preordered the handset will receive it on the same day, assuming they were quick enough to secure their preorder. The iPhone 12 phones started selling out within hours from the preorder start, especially the iPhone 12 Pro versions. Shipping estimates slipped anywhere from 5-7 days to 2-3 weeks from some Pro models, while the various iPhone 12 configurations were still available. We explained at the time that Apple never shares details about iPhone stock for preorders, so we have no idea on the iPhone 12/iPhone 12 Pro split. After all, this is an unusual year when it comes to product launches and sales. The novel coronavirus health crisis impacted schedules, and the resulting economic crisis will prevent many people from buying expensive iPhones. And the cheapest iPhone 12 that Apple will sell this year is the iPhone 12 mini, which doesn’t go on sale for a few weeks — the most expensive iPhone 12 also goes on sale in mid-November.

An Apple insider familiar with Apple’s plans said in a new note to customers that the iPhone 12 demand is indeed higher than anticipated, seemingly confirming the anecdotal observations from the first day of preorders.

Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note on Sunday morning, according to MacRumors. He addressed the first weekend of iPhone 12 sales. Traditionally, that’s the best weekend for new iPhone sales. Until a few years ago, Apple would always release preorder figures, but the company no longer reveals those numbers.

The TF International Securities analyst also noted that the more expensive iPhone 12 Pro models sold the best. The ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ pre-order beat our expectation because of Apple core fans’ initial preference for high-end models, the strong demand in the Chinese market, and the coming peak season demand in the US and Europe,” Kuo wrote.

In light of the first weekend sales, Kuo revised his predictions regarding Apple’s iPhone 12 split. Previously, Kuo thought the iPhone 12 would sell better than the other three models, accounting for 40-45% share. But the Pro performance made him adjust his expectations. The analyst now thinks the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will account for 30-35% share each of new iPhone shipments this year. That’s double his initial expectations. The Pros will likely steal sales from the more affordable versions.

The iPhone 12 mini will be responsible for 10-15% share of sales, down from the previous 20-25% estimate. Kuo says there’s weak demand for the mini in China, although the phone hasn’t technically started selling. The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max will hit preorders on November 6th, and both handsets also share the same release date, November 13th.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.