iPhone 15 Pro Demand Trends

In the United States, the arrival of Apple iPhone 15 Pro has seen robust demand, whereas interest in China and Japan has been marginally subdued.

The latest phones have been open for pre-orders since September 15 in most regions. The lead times for the pricier Pro models have maintained a consistent pattern everywhere except in China and Japan.

The company, which holds an Outperform rating with a target price of $210 on the American tech giant, has stated that the Pro and Pro Max versions of the new iPhone are experiencing initial delivery estimates of 35 days in the U.S. In China, these figures stand at 18 and 25 days, respectively. Meanwhile, Japan’s lead time is 32 days for both variants.

Apple announced on Saturday that they would release a software update to address customer concerns about the latest iPhone 15 models, which were launched just over a week ago and have been experiencing issues with overheating.

Apple clarified that the new iPhone models were running hot due to a combination of glitches in iOS 17, bugs in applications, and a temporary setup phase.

These devices hold significant importance for Apple’s (AAPL) financial performance. In the most recent quarter, iPhones contributed to 48.5% of the overall revenue, while services, the second-highest revenue generator, accounted for 26%. The stock has seen an increase of almost 38% year-to-date, but a decrease of 5.3% over the past five days. On Friday, shares closed with a 0.3% increase.

Other countries tracked displayed lead times similar to the U.S., averaging over 30 days for the Pro and Pro Max models.

For the lower-tier models, most countries have maintained stable delivery times, with Japan being the exception.

The basic models have shorter delivery times across all regions, ranging from approximately 9 to 18 days. This suggests a strong preference for the higher-priced iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models, as explained by analysts led by Amit Daryanani.

After the release of the new iPhone 15 models earlier this month, user feedback on Apple’s forums, Reddit, and social media has indicated that all four models can generate more heat than expected during use. CNBC’s review of the new iPhone Pros also noted that the iPhone 15 Pro Max experienced heating issues.

“I just received the iPhone 15 Pro today and it’s so warm I can’t hold it for very long!” expressed a commenter on Apple’s forums.

Apple’s new premium models, the $999 iPhone 15 Pro and $1,199 iPhone 15 Pro Max, feature a redesigned titanium enclosure with an aluminum frame to facilitate easier repairs. Apple clarified that the heating issue with the new models was unrelated to the titanium chassis design.

Instead, Apple identified glitches with specific applications and a bug in iOS that can be rectified with software updates. Apple assured that an upcoming iOS 17 update aimed at resolving the issue will not compromise the devices’ performance.

Apple’s website mentions that users may notice the phones feeling warmer during certain circumstances, such as when set up from a backup, during wireless charging, while using graphics-intensive applications or games, or when streaming high-quality video. Apple assures that it’s normal for devices to feel warm during heavy usage, and as long as iPhones don’t display a temperature warning, they are safe to use.

Thus far, the new iPhones seem to be selling well, with shipping times for the devices sometimes extending to weeks, and long queues forming outside Apple stores on launch day.

“Interestingly, lead times for the 15 Pro Max, 15 Plus, and 15 are tracking higher compared to their predecessors (e.g., iPhone 14 Series), and the 15 Pro Max is boasting the highest lead time we have seen historically across all SKUs since we have been tracking lead time data,” noted JPMorgan analysts in a recent statement.

However, a notable Apple supply chain analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, suggested in a blog post last week that the iPhone 15’s heat issue could potentially impact sales.

Apple has faced notable launch challenges in the past, but these have not significantly affected the company’s long-term prospects.

The iPhone 4, launched in 2010, had a design flaw that could lead to dropped calls. Apple offered free cases to address the issue. In 2012, shortly after the launch of the iPhone 5, Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for the buggy and unreliable Apple Maps. The iPhone 6, released in 2014, received criticism for being susceptible to bending under pressure.

Overall, lead times in the U.S. are performing better compared to a year ago, while China’s lead times have worsened, according to the firm. In comparison to last year, delivery times are similar for the Pro Max, higher for the Pro, and slightly lower for the Plus.

In the UK and Germany, time to first delivery for the two Pro models was 32 days.

It’s worth noting that the delivery times mentioned in this story pertain to the free delivery option. In the U.S., some iPhone 15 models can be delivered faster if the customer opts for an expedited delivery for an additional fee.

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