As analyzed by Walter Piecyk of BTIG Research, the strong demand for Apple’s newest iPhone devices (the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus), could engineer a return to growth for the tech giant, especially in terms of smartphone earnings during the final quarter of this year. In making his projection, Piecyk looked into the shipping dates of this year’s iPhone offerings, and found that the iPhone 7 shipping dates have extended longer compared to last year’s flagship devices, the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. Indeed this year, Apple’s online store estimates ship times of two weeks to three weeks for all variants of the new iPhones (except for the jet black colored edition), compared to shorter than a week’s time for the iPhone 6s handsets last year, and seven days to 10 days for 2015’s iPhone 6 devices.
And even though a number of distribution channels promise lesser shipping times (like T-Mobile for instance, which is shipping the 128 gigabyte edition of the iPhone 7 in two days to nine days), buyers have to wait even longer in order to grab an iPhone 7 Plus compared to last year’s iPhones. As pointed out by Piecyk, the bigger iPhone 7 is in short supply, while the jet black colored edition of both iPhone 7 models is extremely in demand. Piecyk observed that it takes 48 days to 62 days for a Verizon Wireless customer to buy a midrange iPhone 7 Plus, compared to 21 days to 28 days for the iPhone 6s Plus. As for the jet black variant, shipping times easily surpass those of the iPhone 6s’ rose gold edition, as well as 2013’s gold model. Piecyk also noted that shipping estimates for the jet black edition go as far out as December 15th, which might be considered a record wait time for a new iPhone (the original 2007 iPhone also had long shipping delays, but the shipping estimates were not clearly known).
But are extended wait times for the new iPhones more connected with high demand or limited availability of stocks? Nobody seems to know for sure -- but a week ago, New Street Research did observe significant pent-up demand for this year’s iPhones, and given the recent struggles of Samsung with its recalled Galaxy Note 7, the demand for Apple’s smartphones may have been boosted. The combination of all factors mentioned earlier could very well result in a good holiday season for Apple, despite a rather forgettable year for the company.
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