Apple Inc. NASDAQ:AAPL said this morning that it could have sold many more iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units over launch weekend if it had a greater supply. CEO Tim Cook did give their team credit for managing the ramp-up of the manufacturing process better than before, however.
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are immediate hits
This year will be Apple Inc. NASDAQ:AAPL’s fastest iPhone rollout ever, with both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus being available in 115 countries by the end of this year. On Friday, both models became available for purchase in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico and France. The two new iPhones will be available in 20 additional countries on Friday.
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Within just the first 24 hours, Apple said it had sold 4 million units already. Apple did not include China, one of its most important markets, with launch weekend this year. Many analysts expect the phones to be a big hit there, particularly the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Some were also predicting a record launch weekend in spite of China not being included in the first weekend.
Where Apple’s supply is constrained the most
In a research note dated Sept. 22, 2014, Cantor Fitzgerald analysts Brian White and Isabel Zhu released their analysis of how iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales are going so far. They found that the iPhone 6 Plus sold out at all of the 90 U.S. retail stores they surveyed by Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. They reported that 48% of the iPhone 6 models were out of stock already.
The analysts say Apple Inc. NASDAQ:AAPL appears to have gotten a later start on production for the iPhone 6 Plus because of technical problems, resulting in a supply constraint. However, they also think that there has been stronger-than-expected demand for the phablet-sized iPhone in the U.S. They note that this is a positive for average selling prices.
They predict that demand for the iPhone 6 will be even higher in China and other parts of Asia than it was in the U.S., which means supply could become even more constrained.
Gold iPhone 6 models sell out first
The Cantor Fitzgerald team said they found that the 16-gigabyte gold iPhone 6 sold out the fastest in the U.S., making it the most difficult to buy. More specifically, they found that 77% of the stores they surveyed sold out of the 16-gigabyte iPhone 6. They added that Apple retail stores also appeared to have sold out of the gold iPhone 6 the fastest. Silver was second, and then space grey was third.
The analysts also say note that the gold-colored iPhone 5S was popular last year in China and say that the popularity of the gold iPhone 6 appears to have spread to the U.S. this year. Going forward, they think this could enable Apple to set itself apart by selling gold-colored iPads and Macs.
They continue to rate Apple Inc. NASDAQ:AAPL as a Buy with a $123 per share price target.