According to a surprising, and not altogether pleasant for Tim Cook and AAPL shareholders new report by KeyBanc Capital Analyst John Vinh, channel checks have revealed that Apple's older iPhone 7 models are outselling the recently launched iPhone 8 ahead of the early November debut of the premium iPhone X.
As traditionally new editions of the iPhone have sold quickly as fans queue for the latest upgrade, this time it's clearly different as pent up demand for the iPhone X is clearly cannibalizing sales, and the surveys add to signs that the iPhone 8 is not proving as popular as its predecessors. A chronological breakdown of iPhone features by generation courtesy of Nomura is shown below.
"Many respondents indicated that a meaningful portion of customers are buying iPhone 7 in lieu of the new iPhone 8, given the lack of significant enhancements in the new phone," Vinh wrote in his research report, which relied on channel checks in the United States and United Kingdom.
Apple last month introduced the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which resemble the iPhone 7 line but have a glass back for wireless charging. The iPhone 8 starts at $699 in the United States, higher than where its predecessor launched while the latest price of the cheapest iPhone 7 retails from $549 after a price cut.
A comparison of the PCBs of the iPhone 7 and 8, respectively, is shown below.
"Feedback from stores indicate customers are waiting to purchase the iPhone X or to compare the iPhone X before buying the iPhone 8," wrote Vinh, who is rated four out of five stars by Thomson Reuters StarMine for his recommendation accuracy on the Apple stock.
Another reason for the slow uptick of the iPhone 8 could be the modest promotion by U.S. carriers, Vinh said. "While carriers continue to offer promotions for the new iPhone 8, they have been much more modest compared to the iPhone 7 launch last year," he wrote.
Meanwhile, as Apple bull hopes fall on the iPhone X, a key unknown factor is what the price will be. The much-anticipated iPhone X, a glass and stainless steel device with an edge-to-edge display, will start shipping from Nov. 3 with the 10th-anniversary iPhone priced from $999, Apple's most expensive mobile till date.
Meanwhile for those seeking more details on what one can find inside the iPhone 7 vs iPhone 8, the following comparison from Bloomberg should come in handy.