Analyst: Three days, 9-12 million iPhone X preorders

But that pace may not be sustainable, says Rosenblatt Securities' Jun Zhang, an Apple bear.

From a note to clients by  that landed in my inbox Monday:

Strong Weekend Preorders

  • Based on the 5-6 week wait time for an iPhone X, we estimate that there were 9-12 million iPhone X total preorders over the last three days due to iPhone X's current production ramp schedule (Oct: 2.5M, Nov 5-6M, Dec 15-16M).
  • We also believe total preorders in China reached 6.5M over the last three days (including some pre-registrations without payment).

While we continue to see strong iPhone X preorders, we have ongoing concerns regarding sustainability of this pace. We believe preorder volume declined quickly after the first day, which could be attributed to long wait times.

  1. In Asia,, we have observed smaller retailers that may have been using software to quickly preorder iPhone Xs with plans to resell into the end user market, which may have contributed to strong initial orders in China, including Hong Kong.
  2. Wait times have not extended after the first day, remaining at 5-6 weeks.

We will continue to monitor the production ramp into November and assess whether wait times extend or contract over the next few weeks.

Zhang maintains his Neutral rating on Apple and his near-Street low $150 price target. 

My take: First I've heard of small retailers using software-driven preorders to grab iPhone Xs for resale in China and Hong Kong, but I wouldn't put it past them.


  1. Fred Stein said:
    Maybe the rumored supply constraints are so bad. According this MacRumors (oops more rumors), wait times for X, have dropped from Mid Nov to Nov 3.

    Apple set the delivery date to Nov 3, one day after their quarterly report. Sure Apple wanted an earlier date, but also wanted to avoid risk if manufacturing ramp up ran into problems. A few days ago, Apple announced that demand was ‘through the roof’. They aren’t known for hyperbole, especially when they’re days from giving next quarter’s guidance.

    The logical conclusion is that Apple will build and sell a lot of X’s in Q1 FY18; And a lot of the other iPhones, especially the recently discounted 7; And Watches; And services.

    October 30, 2017
    • Fred Stein said:
      I meant “aren’t so bad”

      October 30, 2017
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    I think we can reasonably assume that first weekend sales, this year, will be virtually all pre-orders.

    In the recent past first weekend sales were predominantly pre-orders, and amounted to 13 Million units.

    So, if last reported (iPhone 6S) first weekend sales were 13 Million, and ~85% were pre-orders, then Apple accepted about 11 Million pre-orders in the first three days.

    Daryanani estimates 9 – 12 Million pre-orders for the iPhone X in the first 3 days. This doesn’t jive with a report that China generated 5.5 Million pre-orders in the first 5 hours (worldwide 13 Million units?). Nor does his estimate jive with Tim Cook’s statement that pre-orders were “off-the-charts”, which came about 8 hours, or so, after ordering commenced.

    I interpret Cook’s statement to mean SUBSTANTIALLY more than 11 Million units. One million more (high end of Daryanani’s estimate) would not be “substantially” more.

    Demand for the iPhone X is far greater than any previous iPhone.

    My guess, and its just a guess, is that Apple received ~13 million pre-orders in the first 4 – 6 hours. Claiming a maximum of 12 Million pre-orders in 3 days is ridiculously low.

    October 30, 2017
    • John Kirk said:
      “I think we can reasonably assume that first weekend sales, this year, will be virtually all pre-orders.”

      I really don’t know, but my recollection is that Apple cuts off pre-orders at some point and reserves most phones for in-store sale.

      October 30, 2017
  3. David Drinkwater said:
    One interesting possibility is that “5-6 weeks” is code for “this is the longest lead time we will cite”. Or it could be real and Apple will be happily playing catch up for a few months.

    October 30, 2017

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