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Top Apple insider: iPhone XS interest is weaker than expected as Apple Watch S4 demand soars

iPhone XS

Not even a week removed from Apple’s special event, Ming-Chi Kuo is already out with a new investor note (via MacRumors) detailing how pre-orders for Apple’s newly unveiled devices are stacking up. Staring out with the iPhone, Kuo relays that demand for the iPhone XS has been somewhat lackluster thus far. Hardly a major point of concern, Kuo explains that most consumers are either opting for the iPhone XS Max or the far more affordable iPhone XR. Incidentally, iPhone XS Max demand is reportedly in line with Apple’s internal projections.

As a quick aside, it’s a shame the iPhone XR isn’t launching until October as the device offers most of the iPhone XS’ feature set at a much more affordable price point. For what it’s worth, the XR launch was delayed amid rumors that Apple just recently managed to rectify early production issues involving the device’s LCD display. That said, hopefully supply won’t be much of an issue once the device hits store shelves in just a few weeks.

Kuo’s note reads in part:

There is strong Chinese demand thanks to the gold casing, dual-SIM, and large display. The XS Max average shipping time is shorter than the 2H17 iPhone X (1–2 weeks vs. 2–3 weeks), which we think is due to supply improvements. We maintain our forecasts that the XS Max will account for 25–30% of 2H18 new iPhone model shipments.

All told, Kuo believes that Apple’s iPhone XR will account for upwards of 60% of Apple’s iPhone sales. In other words, the iPhone XS could very well be the least popular iPhone model this year.

Beyond the iPhone, the new Apple Watch Series 4 appears to be resonating with consumers in a big way. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given that a) interest in the Apple Watch has been steadily increasing with each passing year and b) the Apple Watch Series 4 represents the most significant redesign to Apple’s wearable since the device first launched a few years ago.

Truth be told, the Apple Watch Series 4 is so compelling that I’m a little bit surprised Apple kicked off last week’s keynote with it. Arguably, the updated wearable — which features a significantly larger display, significantly faster internals, ECG support, and more — is such an improvement over previous models that it could have justifiably been unveiled with Apple’s iconic “one more thing” introduction.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long 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.