Apple’s new iPhones are bad for big-box retailers; investors may be underestimating iPhone and Apple Watch demand

“Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty and her team talk Apple today, writing that investors may be underestimating the iPhone and Apple Watch demand,” Teresa Rivas reports for Barron’s.

“So what does this mean for carriers, retailers, and Apple’s supply chain?” Rivas reports. “Huberty writes that Apple’s new lineup of products is good for T-Mobile, mixed for suppliers, and not so great for stores.”

“Fewer respondents to the Morgan Stanley survey plan to purchase smartphones from big box stores, and the firm thinks that this is mixed for Best Buy in the near-term but likely a long-term negative,” Rivas reports. “At least for the third and fourth quarters, weaker in-store demand could be offset by higher ASPs and Watch sales.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Katy Huberty’s right. There’re these things called the Internet, FedEx, UPS…

iPhone preorders long ago dramatically reduced visible queues during first weekend sales. We preorder them online and they arrive at our doorsteps on release day. It’s not difficult to comprehend. It’s been this way for years.MacDailyNews, September 26, 2017


  1. I can’t remember a time when I’ve genuinely wanted so much Apple gear — need a MBP upgrade, new Apple Watch (for heart!), new HomePod for kitchen, new iPhone X (for me and wife) plus new 4K AppleTV. Christmas will be expensive!

    1. Yeah, got the new Watch and AppleTV 4k, already. Waiting for iPhone X, and HomePod. Strangely, I gave my MBP retina to my nephew for college, and bought a 6yr old refurbed Mac Mini instead.

      So, what was a hub concept of computing, has now become decentralized as my individual devices all sync up, allowing me to go from mobile to more mobile devices.

  2. I was going to buy my wife a regular Apple Watch 3 for Christmas, but after I couldn’t get ahold of her from work yesterday I’ve decided to get the cellular version instead. I recently got my Verizon bill lowered by $25 so the extra $10 isn’t so bad.

  3. The headline is misleading; it’s not the iPhone per se that will be bad for big box retailers, but the availability of online ordering.

    In short, this is nothing new. Online retail is rapidly replacing in store retail.

    In fact, I expect the iPhone X may be so hard to get, even online, that it may drive those unable to secure it online in a reasonable amount of time to the stores looking for them. So the iPhone X may actually be good for brick and mortar retailers.

  4. The other factor to bear in mind is that Apple hardware isn’t generally discounted, so it’s as cheap to buy it on-line from Apple as from anywhere else and there is no delivery charge for most orders.

    Buy direct from Apple and be sure of getting the latest version instead of old stock. I remember when I bought an iMac during the Black Friday promotion and a neighbour bought one a few weeks later from the local PC retailer. I got the current iMac which is what I had ordered and also benefitted from a worthwhile discount, while she paid the full retail price and got an older model which had been superseded several months before.

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