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Carriers & CE Retailers Banking On New Cheap iPhone XR, After “Poor” Demand For Pricey iPhones

Australian retailers who have told ChannelNews that the recently released Apple XS and XS Max iPhones have “failed to excite” consumers are now banking on the cheaper iPhone XR to generate traffic.

The biggest issue is price claim retailers with consumers not prepared to pay over $1,500 for the XS and XS Max. IDC are not saying how many of these models were sold in Australia but in the USA they only

accounted for 16% of all iPhone sales in the September quarter, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

The lack of sales for the most expensive Apple iPhones raise the stakes for the XR, which analysts expect to be Apple’s best-selling device over the next year.

To prevent iPhone shipments from slipping, the company needs the XR to spur sales of iPhones much as its higher-priced predecessor, the X, did a year ago claims the WSJ.

This year, Apple prioritized the release of the pricier XS and XS Max, releasing the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch devices in September with higher-end features like a sharper, organic-LED display and dual-lens cameras. It withheld the XR, which features a 6.1-inch traditional LCD screen and a single camera, until this week.

Global demand for the most expensive Apple iPhones hasn’t been strong enough to lift unit sales, said Mike Levin, co-founder of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, a market research firm. “The XR has to soak up a lot of demand—that’s what will define success,” he added.

As of Oct. 21, a month after they started shipping, the iPhone XS and XS Max together account for an estimated 0.18% of iPhones in use world-wide, according to market research by Localytics, which analyse apps across 2.7 billion devices and did a controlled analysis of models being used. That was slightly less than the 0.78% share of the 8 and 8 Plus last year and a little over one-tenth of the share claimed by its predecessors in 2016.

Apple started preorder’s for the XR last Friday. Shipment delays, a closely watched barometer of demand, reached 10 days in the U.S. and China following the first weekend, according to Nomura Group’s global equity-research unit, comparable to the delay for last year’s iPhone 8 Plus.

Carriers claim that the Apple XS and XS Max iPhones hit a record low in the September quarter. The company signalled it may decline again in the December quarter.

“That suggests Apple’s going to have a difficult time meaningfully growing the market,” said Jeff Kvaal, an analyst at Nomura.

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