While it may seem like a good thing that the iPhone XR will likely be shipping on time, a new report suggests that this could be bad news for Apple, as consumer appetite for the new budget-priced iPhone might not be as strong as expected.
As explained by Phone Arena, it isn’t unusual for estimated shipping times for flagship iPhones to get pushed back by several weeks within 24 hours of their initial pre-order availability. For example, last year’s iPhone X got delayed by five to six weeks soon after it became available for pre-order on Apple’s website, while the iPhone XS was delayed by three to four weeks. However, that apparently hasn’t been the case with the iPhone XR since pre-orders for the 6.1-inch handset went live on Friday.
At the time of Phone Arena’s report on Saturday, most versions of the iPhone XR were set to arrive on the scheduled October 26 release date, with the exceptions being the blue, coral, yellow, and PRODUCT(RED) versions, which were scheduled to ship between November 5 and November 12. These shipping times remain the same as of Sunday, and as Phone Arena speculated, this could be because customers who buy the T-Mobile iPhone XR aren’t strictly required to use a T-Mobile SIM card when operating the device.
Talking about the possible reasons why iPhone XR shipping times are still “steady” as of the weekend, Phone Arena wrote that there’s a chance Apple had manufactured enough units to keep up with the expected consumer demand. However, the publication added that the worst-case scenario is the possibility that there isn’t enough demand for this year’s most affordable iPhone model after all.
— Brenden (@justabouthings) October 20, 2018
In the lead-up to the iPhone XR’s pre-order availability, a number of leading market experts were bullish on the prospects of healthy demand for the device, whose base price of $750 is 25 percent less than the iPhone XS’ starting price of $999. Last weekend, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo increased his iPhone XR shipment estimates for the fourth quarter of 2018 by 10 percent, revising his forecasted statistics to 36 to 38 million units shipped during the period, according to CNBC.
“We believe that replacement demand for XR will be better than it was for the iPhone 8 series last year because of XR’s larger display, longer battery life, dual-SIM support, and new form factor design,” Kuo wrote in a research note.
Similarly, Phone Arena noted that venture capitalist Gene Munster, who had made several Apple business forecasts during his time as a Piper Jaffray analyst, recently predicted that the iPhone XR will outsell the iPhone XS and XS Max as the most popular iPhone over the coming 12 months.