KGI: Initial iPhone 8 sales were not ‘weak’, stable demand at carriers

A new report from KGI rebuts some of the industry pessimism around the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Although it is true that lines were shorter than the usual blockbuster iPhone release, KGI says that opening weekend sales were about half that of last year’s.

Given that many early adopters are waiting for the iPhone X, 50% sales volume is inline with expectations. KGI says they are seeing stable demand from carrier sales.

Whilst sales at Apple Stores are lower, this is to be expected as the demographic of people willing to queue up for a phone on launch day is heavily skewed towards the people that want the latest and greatest hardware, and are therefore waiting it out for the iPhone X.

Carrier sales give a more balanced look at the average customer, rather than hardcore Apple fan, so ‘stable demand’ at carriers is encouraging.

Interestingly, KGI says that the 8 Plus has been more popular than usual this year, with the 5.5-inch model accounting for more than half of initial iPhone 8 sales.

It is possible the skew towards iPhone 8 Plus corrects itself as time goes on and the average customer upgrades to the cheapest new iPhone; the 4.7-inch iPhone 8.

Going forward, KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo expects iPhone X sales to roughly equal the combined unit shipments of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Assuming that realises itself when the iPhone X goes on sale in early November, investors will be pleased to see unit numbers inline with last year but with average-selling-price at Apple’s highest-ever levels for iPhone.

Apple stock (AAPL) has already recovered a few percentage points this week, as investors adjust their perspectives from (what KGI called) an ‘excessively negative’ outlook.

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