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Is Apple Worried About iPhone 7 Sales Already?

For the first time, Apple won't publish first-weekend iPhone sales numbers
Credit: Apple
iPhone 7 Plus with Apple Leather cases
September 8, 2016

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus officially arrive in stores on Friday, Sept. 16. On the Monday after such releases, Apple usually celebrates by releasing first-weekend sales numbers. No longer.

In a statement to CNBC, Apple says that first-weekend sales numbers are “no longer a representative metric” due to demand outweighing supply. As such, they will no longer release these numbers.

They note:

“We expect iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be incredibly popular with customers and we are thrilled to begin taking pre-orders on September 9. Customers will receive their new iPhones starting September 16.

In years past, we’ve announced how many new iPhones had been sold as of the first weekend following launch. But as we have expanded our distribution through carriers and resellers to hundreds of thousands of locations around the world, we are now at a point where we know before taking the first customer pre-order that we will sell out of iPhone 7.

These initial sales will be governed by supply, not demand, and we have decided that it is no longer a representative metric for our investors and customers. Therefore we won’t be releasing a first-weekend number any longer. We are reiterating the financial guidance for the September quarter that we provided on July 26.”

On the surface, this makes a lot of sense since sales aren’t counted until a customer receives a phone, meaning that delayed shipments wouldn’t be picked up in these early numbers. However, so what? These numbers have always been impressive, no matter the demand. Since 2011, in fact, first-weekend sales have always increased from the year before.

What’s probably going on here is that Apple fears that unreported supply constraints will bring these numbers down significantly.

As MacRumors notes, just last week, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said mass production of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus did not begin until the second half of August, which was later than expected. As a result, Kuo dropped his fourth-quarter forecast for iPhone sales to 20 to 25 million units from his original estimate of 30 million units.

Would-be iPhone 7 buyers take note: If you want to receive your new phone on Friday, Sept. 16, be sure to place your preorder as close to 12:01 a.m. PDT tomorrow morning as you can. Otherwise, you might be out of luck

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