Sat, Sep 10, 2016 - Page 10 News List

Apple to stay mum on iPhone 7 opening sales

BREAKING PRECEDENT:The company said that it already knows, even before taking the first customer pre-order, that it is going to sell out of iPhone 7s


Apple Inc, breaking with tradition, said it will not provide opening weekend sales numbers for new iPhone launches.

The Cupertino, California-based smartphone maker has sometimes shared early pre-order numbers and usually has announced how many iPhones were sold on the weekend after the device officially became available.

The company on Thursday said in a statement that it will not continue the practice because it’s “now at a point where we know before taking the first customer pre-order that we will sell out of iPhone 7.”

By not releasing opening weekend sales numbers, Apple is holding back a key metric that some investors have used to determine the success of an iPhone launch.

The world’s most valuable company is banking on the new lineup, in addition to new wireless AirPods headphones and water resistant Apple Watch models, to avoid a holiday quarter year-over-year sales drop.

Apple said that “initial sales will be governed by supply, not demand,” leading the company to determine that opening weekend numbers are “no longer a representative metric for our investors and customers.”

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus become available for pre-order yesterday, while Apple and carrier retail stores will begin selling the phones on Friday next week, the company said.

CNBC earlier reported Apple’s decision.

The new iPhones, unveiled on Wednesday, include updated designs with two new black color options, stereo speakers, upgraded cameras with new zooming abilities, faster and more efficient processors, improved graphics performance for gaming, better battery life, and lack a headphone jack. The new iPhones start at US$649 for 32GB of storage.

This shift in strategy on iPhone sales marks the second time Apple has held back some numbers in recent years. For example, following the introduction of the Apple Watch in 2014, the company said it would not release sales numbers for the device for competitive reasons.

Apple has provided no indication that it will stop announcing iPhone sales numbers with its quarterly earnings report.

Apple’s forecast for the quarter ending this month has not changed, the company said in the statement.

Apple on July 26 projected fiscal fourth quarter revenue from US$45.5 billion to US$47.5 billion. Apple reported sales of US$51.5 billion and more than 48 million iPhones sold in the same quarter last year.

The company’s shares declined 2.6 percent on Thursday as its new products drew mixed reviews, snapping a two-day streak of record highs as US markets broadly finished lower.

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