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The Ratings Game: What iPhone 14 wait times say about Apple’s early demand

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A look at delivery estimates for Apple Inc.’s most expensive iPhone models indicates good demand as well as resilience in Europe despite economic concerns in that market, according to an Evercore ISI analyst.

Evercore’s Amit Daryanani found “elevated” lead times across numerous markets as he examined early interest in the iPhone 14 family of devices that Apple
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made available for preorder last week.

Read: Apple won’t raise iPhone 14 prices as it battles with a fierce rival

Daryanani said people would have to wait 29 days for delivery of an iPhone 14 Pro in the U.S., and 36 days for an iPhone 14 Pro Max, based on Apple’s quoted delivery estimates for “SIM-free” models as of his late Monday note to clients. Delivery estimates were even more stretched in China, where Apple was quoting 36 days for delivery of an iPhone 14 Pro and 42 days for an iPhone 14 Pro Max, he said.

Apple took a pricing strategy in Europe that a JPMorgan analyst deemed “less accommodative” to demand than its actions in other markets, but Daryanani said that momentum in Europe seemed to be strong as well.

“Other countries we track are very similar to U.S. lead times at 28 days, including Germany, which suggests demand for consumer electronics remains strong despite the energy crisis fears in Europe,” he wrote.

Daryanani added that lead times for Apple’s base iPhone 14 were much shorter than for the Pro models, with 25-day estimates for the larger iPhone 14 Plus and four- to nine-day estimates for the smaller iPhone 14.

Such indications “could point to a strong mix of higher priced iPhone 14 Pro, Pro Max and Plus models, though lead times were also stretched further for these models.”

Don’t miss: Here are the iPhone 14 deals from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon as preorders begin

Whereas analysts and other Apple watchers used to look track lines outside the company’s stores on launch day, they now examine quoted online delivery times to gauge early demand. Daryanani acknowledged, however, that the metric isn’t always a perfect indicator.

“[W]e would caveat that delivery times could be a reflection of strong demand or weak supply – though we suspect given the variation in wait times that this data set more likely suggests higher demand,” he wrote.

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