It became obvious from the moment preorders began that the iPhone X demand is greater than the supply, but what’s unclear is how much of a supply Apple, retailers and mobile carriers have to work with. In fact, one analyst firm found over the weekend that most T-Mobile and Sprint stores never even received any iPhone X units.
iPhone X stock is near non-existent at T-Mobile and Sprint
Some Apple fans are willing to do nearly anything to get their hands on an iPhone X, so the question now will be whether that includes switching mobile carriers. KeyBanc analyst John Vinh discovered over the weekend that most T-Mobile and Sprint stores never even received any iPhone X stock.
It will be interesting to see just how many Apple fans were able to receive their iPhone X on the T-Mobile or Sprint network after preordering them, considering that most of the carriers’ stores didn’t receive even a single unit. Further, Vinh said that most T-Mobile and Sprint stores reported receiving no timeline on when they might receive any iPhone X supply.
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This makes it seem like Apple is purposely cutting off T-Mobile and Sprint, although it’s unclear why. All we know here is that most of the carriers’ stores didn’t receive any iPhone Xs, which means that buyers on these networks might be waiting a while. It certainly makes all the promotions they’re offering seem rather useless.
Vinh added that several Verizon and AT&T stores don’t expect to receive any additional shipments until December, which only highlights the iPhone X supply-demand issues further.
No color on iPhone X stock levels
Credit Suisse analysts Achal Sultania and Quang Tung Le found Apple management’s commentary about the iPhone X to be “encouraging.” They said in a note following Apple’s latest earnings report that the customer satisfaction rate was reported at 97%, while the brand loyalty rate was at 95% and purchase intention rate was at 69%.
The company’s management would not provide any details about how preorders were going or about how long they expect it to take for the iPhone X supply-demand balance to be reached. However, the company did say that iPhone X orders have been strong, both through direct sales to consumers and through channel partners.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Wamsi Mohan said in a post-earnings note that Apple management couldn’t offer any commentary on when supply would catch up to demand because there weren’t any sales other than preorders before the earnings call. The iPhone X officially went on sale on Friday, the day after the company’s earnings release. Mohan noted that there is zero visibility into true demand for the iPhone X because of this and also due to the late production ramp for the handset.