While it’s Apple’s nature to conceal details (like sales figures) pertinent to its major product launches, savvy and well-connected analysts in the Far East have historically been able to offer reasonable estimates of how the company’s new products are performing, even shortly after launch.
This morning, the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo penned a research note in which he suggested upon breaking down launch weekend pre-order data for Apple’s new iPhone XS and Apple Watch Series 4 models — that current supply and shipping estimates reveal that the iPhone XS Max, and Watch Series 4 emerged the biggest winners of the weekend.
iPhone XS/XS Max Launch Weekend Stats
In his latest note, a copy of which was obtained by Apple Insider, Kuo notes that Apple’s “high-price strategy” appears to be paying off, citing how iPhone XS Max launch shipments, in particular, have thus far been pushed back into October, depending on color, carrier, and configuration.
Interestingly, Kuo then point out how the average shipping times for iPhone XS Max are actually shorter than estimates seen during last year’s iPhone X release, but the analyst attributes those improvements to a more productive and efficient supply chain rather than the result of weak demand.
As a result, Kuo predicted the XS Max will account for roughly 25 to 30 percent of new iPhone shipments this year.
Considering the variables as they pertain to Apple’s iPhone XS, Kuo notes that demand for the 5.8-inch iPhone X-successor appears to be “lower than anticipated,” citing how most variants of the entry-level flagship will deliver on launch day — with current iPhone XS pre-order estimates showing a 1-2 week delivery.
Accordingly, citing “lackluster demand,” Kuo in his note moved to decrease his former iPhone XS shipping estimates — dropping them to between 10 and 15 percent of all new iPhone models shipped, from his previous estimate of between 15 and 20 percent.
All in all, Kuo believes that the majority of iPhone buyers, upgraders and switchers are interested in either the super-sized iPhone XS Max, or the iPhone XR — Apple’s most affordable and colorful new iPhone offering, which is packed with features like a 6.1-inch edge-to-edge LRD display, Face ID and more.
This mid-range yet game-changing model however didn’t factor into Kuo’s launch weekend estimates, as it won’t be available to order until sometime in October, Apple quoted.
“We estimate the shipment peak of XS Max and XS will be in October and XR will start shipping and benefiting supply chain momentum in October,” Kuo writes, adding that “We estimate the shipments of the 2H18 new iPhone models will grow slightly year-over-year to 75 to 80 million units.”
Apple Watch Series 4 Launch Weekend Stats
Last but not least, Kuo notes that the Apple Watch Series 4 appears to be performing much better than previously expected, citing how Apple’s app and online store are currently showing most models as sold-out, and shipping estimates pegged at 1-2 weeks at the minimum, in multiple launch countries including the U.S., U.K., and Australia.
Unsurprisingly, Kuo finishes off by attributing the Apple Watch Series 4’s success to its major redesign and implementation of innovative new features — like an FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) reader — and other technologies geared towards the health-minded.
In light of this, Kuo predicts that Apple Watch shipments will surge past 18 million units by the end of 2018, with the latest Series 4 models accounting for more than half of them.