Analyst: Apple iPhone XR inventories are ‘bloated’ due to ‘underwhelming’ sales

“KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst John Vinh said iPhone XR inventory is piling up at stores due to weak sales,” Tae Kim reports for Barron’s. “The smartphone maker’s $749 iPhone XR became available for sale on Oct. 26. The release came after the company put the $999 iPhone XS and the $1,099 iPhone XS Max on the market in September.”

“‘Our latest carrier survey indicates in-line iPhone XS/Max demand, while iPhone XR sell-through has been underwhelming,’ he wrote on Thursday. ‘While iPhone XS Max inventories remain healthy, XR inventories have already bloated to over 3 DOI [days of inventory],'” Kim reports. “KeyBanc’s note came after The Nikkei Asian Review reported on Monday the tech giant is telling its suppliers to cancel plans for additional iPhone XR production lines.”

“KeyBanc’s note came after The Nikkei Asian Review reported on Monday the tech giant is telling its suppliers to cancel plans for additional iPhone XR production lines,” Kim reports. “The media outlet said, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter, Foxconn initially prepared to have almost 60 assembly lines for the iPhone XR, but is now using only about 45 lines because Apple said it didn’t need the extra production. The new outlook for demand for the iPhone XR is down 20% to 25% from the original, more-optimistic level, according to Nikkei Asian Review.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: While we wouldn’t trust The Nikkei Asian Review as far as we could throw them, if there actually is an issue with iPhone XR sales — and the jury is still way out on that one — that could be a good thing for Apple as it could mean that when spending over $750 on an iPhone, more people than ever say to themselves, “Well, I might as well get the very best one available,” and buy the iPhone Xs Max over iPhone XR. This would positively impact Apple’s iPhone ASP, of course.

Apple’s Asian suppliers fall on report of canceled iPhone XR production boost – November 6, 2018
Nikkei claims iPhone XR production cuts, Apple stock drops over 3% – November 5, 2018
Apple’s revolutionary iPhone X was the world’s best selling smartphone in Q118 – June 14, 2018
Nikkei again claims ‘weak demand’ for iPhone X despite much evidence to the contrary – February 20, 2018
iPhone X drives smartphone revenue dominance; Apple made more money in Q417 than the rest of the smartphone makers combined – February 16, 2018
Apple iPhone took more than half of worldwide smartphone revenue share in Q417, a new record – February 15, 2018
Apple supplier says report of iPhone X production cuts was overstated – January 30, 2018
Another January, another misleading iPhone supply cuts story from Nikkei – January 29, 2018
Apple stock drops after Nikkei report of iPhone X production cut – January 29, 2018
Canalys: Apple shipped 29 million iPhone X units in Q4 2017; world’s best-selling smartphone over the holiday season – January 23, 2018
Reports of Apple cutting iPhone X orders make no sense – January 2, 2018
Apple stock tumbles on one poorly-sourced report of low iPhone X demand – December 26, 2017
Apple and suppliers shares drop on report of weak iPhone X demand – December 26, 2017
Nikkei: Apple to decrease iPhone production 10% in first quarter of 2017 – December 30, 2016
Nikkei proclaims ‘iPhone 7’ Dead On Arrival; bemoans Apple’s ‘lack of innovation’ – May 12, 2016
Japan’s Nikkei, The Wall Street Journal blow it, get iPhone demand story all wrong – January 16, 2013
Did Apple reduce 4-inch Retina display orders due to improving yields? – January 15, 2013
Analysts: iPhone 5 demand ‘robust;’ ignore the non-news noise – January 15, 2013
Apple iPhone suppliers decline on report orders cut by 50% – January 15, 2013
Apple swoon erases $17 billion from stock market – January 14, 2013
Apple iPhone 5 production cut signaling a new product release? – January 14, 2013
Apple drops to 11-month low on old reports of component cuts – January 14, 2013
The strange math of Apple’s alleged massive iPhone 5 component cuts – January 14, 2013
UBS analysts: Apple iPhone component order reduction ‘old news’ – January 14, 2013
Apple pulls down U.S. futures – January 14, 2013
Apple shares drop below $500 after reported cuts in iPhone 5 parts orders – January 14, 2013


  1. It’s always instructive to check how reliable a particular source has been in the past when discussing a similar topic.

    In Jan 2018, Nikkei Asian review reported that iPhone X production was being halved due to “lackluster sales”.

    The actual sales figures turned out to be pretty impressive.

  2. I still haven’t upgraded even though entitled to for the new 2018 iPhones. My iPhone X is still pretty great and it’s hard to motivate myself to upgrade (to probably an XS Max if I do). Apple will also have the problem when their phones get to be multi-years good and certainly don’t need to be replaced every year.

    1. I upgraded and to the iPhone XS max and the switchover was seamless, with no big change other than better camera, better screen, faster apps, faster app switching, better video, etc. The thing is, I never really categorized those things until now. What I really noticed was what a significantly more pleasant phone it is to use than my iPhone X. That phone never made me feel it lacked anything. I still love it (my wife uses it now). It was the best phone I’d ever used, and I still love its shape and feel. The Xs Max feels like a sleek version of the 7 or 8 plus, but with a much better and more visible useful screen over those and the X.

  3. Maybe sales are weak or maybe sales are amazing, who knows except for Timmy & Co

    So Nikkei please go away and stop trying to manipulate the sock for your own gain

  4. I’ve seen only one mention of XS and XS Max total production order being up 5 million over exceptions.

    No one is reporting THAT message… iPhone XR sales, will still be the #1 selling iPhone over the next 12 months. And once Black Friday and phone shopping kicks in for Christmas, iPhone XR will sell very, very, well. No shortages at all.

    Speaking of shortages, so let me get this straight. First, AAPL gets pushed on RUMORS of LCD display production issues not being able to produce enough iPhone XRs. Then they produce too many (evidently that screen problem is just magically gone, according to this “credible” media…).

    Apple has now – on purpose I believe – delayed the lower-end iPhones for over a month after launching the flag ship models to max out high-end sales, before putting the lower-end model/s into market.

    What is TRULY wrong with Apple’s lineup is simple. Apple doesn’t have enough OLED production capability.

    And due to that, it should be that the smallest display iPhone has the lowest spec and price, then the mid-sized display, mid-pricing, and the largest display, highest end pricing.

    Instead, the SMALLER OLED XS is MORE than the iPhone XR that carries a much lower cost LCD display…

    The lineup doesn’t make much sense to consumers in price and size.

    “Which one costs more?” That one.
    “But it has a smaller display.” Right… But it has two cameras.
    “What does that do?” The two cameras allow for a brokeh effect, but so does the XR, but only on human faces.” What’s Brow-kay?…
    “That’s allowing the F-stop, background to blur like a high-end photography camera.” Oh, and that one is $250 more so it can do that on dogs and cups and stuff?
    “Yes, but it has a 2x zoom also, if that is a big deal to you.” Well, no. But this iPhone XR is kinda big for my hands… The XS has a much better feel to it. Boy, I’m confused… I’ll need to think it over and figure this out.

    Apple’s made it quite confusing for the consumer with their messing up on display sizes and features. Ugh…

    My wife is spending $250 more primarily for the XS size. The XR is just too big for her hand, and she fears she’ll drop it a lot. She’s also good with the extra camera features, but it’s hard to justify in cost for that.

  5. The XR is not priced as the low end phone. Sticker shock.
    If only there was only a really good smaller design that has proven itself for years, updated processor and could be sold for $499….

    They could call it iPhone SE or something like that…

    Nah, that’s crazy talk. Dumb asses leaving money on the table.

  6. apple sales numbers are only of interest to stock holders for consumers they just enjoy the phones

    for long term investors like myself Apple has already given it’s guidance for the quarters earnings and they have not missed guidance for years and years (they have only missed analysts wild guesstimates that can be too low or high. The past qurteter for example Apple revenues blew past analysts estimates)\

    Apple already has one week of Xr data before they issued the guidance.

    so as a long term investor you figure that $90 billion revenue or so Apple guidance is worth the price of the stock. Trading aapl following reporters wild claims is more risky than simply doing your own research following Apple’s guidance.

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