The 2020 lineup of new iPhones, as expected, arrived on the market in October, instead of the usual time frame of September. How are they selling so far?
“We just started shipping iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, and we’re off to a great start,” Luca Maestri, Apple’s Chief Financial Officer said on the company’s quarterly earnings call on October 29, per a Motley Fool transcript. In the Q&A portion of the call, CEO Tim Cook said that “given the initial data points that we see on iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro… I would tell you that we are confident that we will grow this quarter in China. And so we are very bullish on what’s going on there.”
However, perhaps unsurprisingly, since the new devices were released after the end of the third quarter, Apple did not elaborate on how the new iPhones are doing in the early going.
There is a new report, however, that suggests demand is high for the first new iPhones (the other two new iPhones, the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Mini, will be available for preorder starting this Friday.)
According to Counterpoint Research, which cited reports from wireless carriers—as opposed to sales through Apple itself—in the new phones’ first week, there’s a great deal of demands for the first two new iPhones.
“Despite COVID-19 and still over 7.75 million people receiving unemployment benefits, stores are seeing greater interest by consumers compared to the iPhone 11 launch,” the report said. This is for three reasons, per Counterpoint: The promise of 5G capability, carrier promos and deals, and other new features on the device, such as the “improved camera, A14 Bionic processor and increased base memory capacity.”
The carriers also said that online sales were the majority of purchases of the new iPhones through carriers, with 70 percent of such purchases taking place online.
“AT&T stores have an automatic message telling people to go online to order a new iPhone since reps cannot take orders over the phone,” Counterpoint said. “Apple asked consumers to not stand in lines on the opening day of the launch. To keep consumers and Apple employees safer, the company asked consumers to order online or order online and then pick up in-store at a certain time to help stores comply with COVID-19 safety procedures.”
The arrival of the new phones have also led to a slowdown in sales of the older models, including the iPhone XR—which remains in the lineup from 2018, and the iPhone SE, which debuted this spring. And Counterpoint said that the iPhone 12 is in stock in most carrier stores, while the iPhone 12 Pro is often sold out.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.