Apple’s iPhone 11 sales appear to be exceeding those muted expectations I talked about…
I don’t know who wrote this (it was me), but it looks like one of my many predictions in the face of prevailing cynicism that has come true.
With that in mind I’m in little doubt those financially lucrative contracts as a conference speaker or guest writer are just seconds away….
OK then, here’s the news:
Apple suppliers are increasing orders
That’s the word from Washburn analyst Dan Ives who explains that Apple’s supply chain partners are increasing production schedules due to stronger than anticipated demand. He’s raised his estimates by 5 million units.
What’s driving this?
In part it reflects the company’s decision to sell that iPhone at a slightly easier to bear price.
This is winning it strong sales in India and China. Consumers there are jumping into the new colors and the great camera. (And it is a great camera, I’ve been using one just like it for a year on my XS).
“By reducing the price of the entry level 2019 iPhone, Apple shows an understanding of consumer pushback against the steep price rises over the last few years, but also an acceptance that without 5G capability there is very limited scope to push prices up further- this will need to wait until the back end of 2020,” Dominic Sunnebo, Global Consumer Insight Director at Kantar told me when the iPhones were announced.
Plus, of course, Apple has invested years of work in understanding some of its key emerging markets.
It’s about to reap the benefits of this work.
And it’s an iPhone
I also think Apple has fixed a positioning problem.
- In 2008 I pointed out that Apple no longer sold an iPhone called an iPhone.
- It sold an iPhone XR, an iPhone XS and an XS Max.
- Now it sells an iPhone, the iPhone 11.
- It also sells an iPhone 11 Pro and an iPhone 11Pro Max.
I think the decision to begin selling an iPhone again was smart. The fact that it is positioned as the entry-level product defines it as being as good as an iPhone rather than the slightly compromised feeling iPhone XR nomenclature.
I wasn’t comfortable with the XR branding. You see, I think lots of consumers who may have wanted an XS but couldn’t afford one felt that the XR was a lesser iPhone, so didn’t buy either model.
They didn’t want a less than iPhone, they wanted an iPhone.
Now iPhone 11 is out, and is called an iPhone, which means the perception is that it IS an iPhone, they are more willing to jump.
And sure, I get “what’s in a name”, but consumer perception becomes pretty delicate when you’re asking them to spend hundreds of dollars (or rupees, yen, euros or that failing UK currency) on the device.
That’s the thing, people want to feel quality, not compromise.
iPhone 11 is the standard to aspire too, with more advanced versions also available. With iPhone XS, iPhone XR felt like a poorer twin brother.
The wisdom of crowds
The analyst is no outlier. We’ve been hearing reports of stronger than muted expectations sales across the last week, and analysts had predicted this…
“With a dual lens and other improved camera features, the iPhone 11 at this lower price point may be the device that aggressively drives sales for Apple,” Lynnette Luna, Principal Analyst at GlobalData told me shortly after the device was announced.
I am not about to get too enthusiastic, of course – I’ve seen expectations raised only to be subsequently dashed before. But I do think we’ll all be watching and waiting for more news on sales at Apple’s investor conference call on October 30.
If Apple were to share sales numbers it will be interesting to find out how many of the tens of millions of people who purchased an iPhone 6 choose to upgrade in the current quarter,