iPhone 7 event one billion iPhones sold slide 001

An Apple spokesperson has confirmed to CNBC that the company won’t be reporting opening-weekend sales numbers for the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, giving the publication a funny reason for the unexpected decision: due to demand outweighing supply, Apple feels that first-weekend sales stats are “no longer a representative metric” for investors and customers when it comes to iPhones.

To me, that sounds more like Apple management aiming to pre-empty any further fallout in case launch sales are not as high as Wall Street analysts like to predict.

The company will continue to report iPhone sales in quarterly earning reports.

Here’s Apple’s statement in full (emphasis mine):

We expect iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be incredibly popular with customers and we are thrilled to begin taking pre-orders on September 9. Customers will receive their new iPhones starting September 16.

In years past, we’ve announced how many new iPhones had been sold as of the first weekend following launch. But as we have expanded our distribution through carriers and resellers to hundreds of thousands of locations around the world, we are now at a point where we know before taking the first customer pre-order that we will sell out of iPhone 7.

These initial sales will be governed by supply, not demand, and we have decided that it is no longer a representative metric for our investors and customers. Therefore we won’t be releasing a first-weekend number any longer. We are reiterating the financial guidance for the September quarter that we provided on July 26.

The “any longer” bit implies they won’t be reporting launch sales data for any new iPhone going forward, not just the new iPhone 7 models.

The decision is also curious given Apple has never shied away from bragging about strong launch sales numbers for new iPhones. But as smartphone sales have been decelerating for the past few quarters and the market for handsets has matured, the iPhone has taken a hit with three consecutive quarters of lower-than-expected sales.

Essentially, Apple just pulled a Samsung.

Remember, the South Korean firm stopped reporting smartphone and tablet shipments a few years back over competitive reasons. Total iPhone sales since the handset’s 2007 debut passed one billion cumulative units back in July.

Source: CNBC

  • Virus

    Probably cause it won’t beat the iPhone 6 sales a lot of people wanted the bigger screen that was a major upgrade feature

  • 5723alex .

    Apple doesn’t announce Apple Watch sales so this step is logical.

    • TechnoBuff

      Nothing logical about it…. It is simply an attempt to forestall unexpected opening weekend lackluster performance

      • Rowan09

        Have to disagree because the 6s sold more than the 6, but yet the 6 was a better selling device. There’s many reasons to why people don’t upgrade anymore and one of them is the lack of subsidy. People have to buy the phone out of pocket full price or pay month by month. Making a killer device is now less than half the battle.

    • jOn Garrett

      Because the Apple watch was supposed to sell 60m but failed miserably. And as stated, it will sell less than the i6.

  • Leslie Bee

    With sales declining year over year, this isn’t surprising.

    When you have good news, you want to boast about it. When it’s bad news, you keep your mouth shut.

    Apparently Apple’s newfound “courage” doesn’t apply to sales figures.

    • TechnoBuff

      Well stated!!!

  • :D

    If Apple do run short of stock then what they say isn’t wrong. That said, low sales due to short supplies is still really bad on Apple. The demand may be there but the supply isn’t and that’s something Apple should’ve handled before the launch.

  • John Smith

    They knew what they were getting themselves into. Hopefully the dent in their sales is large enough to bring the headphone jack back, as well as end the marginalizing of features between sizes of the same model.

  • Rowan09

    The 6S sold more than the 6 during opening weekend sales (13 million compared to 10 million) and yet they didn’t sell as much 6s phones. I agree with Apple let people wait until the quarter because the opening weekend obviously doesn’t say anything anymore. Even if Apple sold 20 million iPhone 7’s, all investors will care about is the quarterly results anyways. Apple is the only one giving sales figures, so I don’t see anything wrong with giving it only during each quarter.

    • TechnoBuff

      Your analysis is flawed. Based on historical prices and facts..
      Released figures for opening weekend boosts Apple stock price the week after…
      By not releasing the figures.. they are hedging their bets…
      If the sales figures falls below past performance… the stock price will take a hit which might linger for awhile…and the narrative of that will affect the stock price for weeks until the end of the quarter…..The market does not like volatility.
      Thus by not releasing any figures.. the stock prices fluctuates within present range which works well for Apple.

      • Rowan09

        How is my analysis flawed when they topped the iPhone 6 by 3 million yet the stock took a hit based on the quarterly results? The weekend sales is only a small indication of true sale value and it was proven last year with the release of the 6S. The “professionals” are never satisfied. Why is it then that no one else gives sales figures only shipped numbers?

      • TechnoBuff

        Yes no one else does…. I thought Apple does things differently from the rest….
        The fact of the matter remains that the sales figures will not be released anymore because Apple is trying to hedge against the perceived future lackluster performance……
        I agree with you that professionals are never satisfied but again that is the nature of the world we live in and we all have to deal with it.
        The smart move on Apple’s part is to stop releasing it…

      • Rowan09

        I agree it’s smart that they stopped it.

  • omakad

    Well it makes sense. If they can’t make enough, why would they report lower number. This will create s#!t storm in media, making it sound like iPhone 7 is not selling. I think they have done enough to the phone and it’s gonna be a great seller, but I doubt they will ever reach 6 numbers.