Munster: iPhone lines 50% shorter than last year, as expected

Nobody has counted as many Apple heads as Gene Munster—first for Piper Jaffray, now for himself at Loup Ventures.

From a note to subscribers posted Friday:

This year’s iPhone Xs/Xs Max launch line at Apple’s flagship 5th Avenue store in New York was 406 people vs last year’s two separate launches which saw 821 for the iPhone X and 293 for the iPhone 8. Overall, this line count is in line with our expectations for two reasons:

  • Consumers are increasingly pre-ordering devices online to avoid long lines on launch day.
  • We expect iPhone Xr, which debuts on October 23, to account for 38% of iPhones sold in the next year, compared to 21% for the Xs and Xs Max combined (9% Xs, 12% Xs Max).

Below: A dozen years of Gene Munster headcounts.

iphone xs lines

Click to enlarge.

My take: Lipstick on a pig, as far as the Street is concerned. The stock continued its post-tariff slide, now in its third week. See Apple vs. Dow, below.

munster iphone lines shorter

See also: Launch day lines for the iPhones Xs (videos) (with commentary from Fifth Avenue by BTIG’s Walter Piecyk).


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    In a day where online shopping has started to dominate, lines are meaningless. So too are lead times, we just don’t know how many units Apple has made available for the September period.

    September 21, 2018
  2. Fred Stein said:
    It’s odd that Gene, of all people, goes through this exercise. His target is based on a multi-year view, which is smart.

    Not only are more people buying on-line, but Apple has more stores, further diluting the relevance of the sample size.

    The real story will be customer excitement about the XS and XS Plus to drive sales throughout the year.

    Finally, the X came out later, much closer to Xmas, which put pressure on shoppers to their hands on it.

    September 21, 2018
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      Finally, the X came out later, much closer to Xmas, which put pressure on shoppers to their hands on it.

      Good point. The Xr will be available for a longer period than was the X last year, while the Xs and Xs Max will both be available for the full quarter.

      September 21, 2018

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