- The iPhone X is still backordered in a lot of places.
- But supply is not as limited as first thought. Many Apple stores currently have same-day pickup available for the phone.
- It sounds like Apple has figured out the production process and will make more units than expected available during the holiday quarter.
Apple has greatly increased the amount of iPhone X stock at its online and in-person stores over the Black Friday weekend, longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster wrote on Monday.
The $999 iPhone X is still in relatively short supply, but there have been "measurable improvements," Munster says, citing his firm's own data which includes 2224 in-store data points for 149 U.S. Apple stores.
"The increase in supply was more notable when you look at the 3 days following Thanksgiving (Nov 24-26th) which we measured an average of 26% availability compared to 2% in the three days leading up to Thanksgiving," Munster wrote.
Munster's observations line up with a quick spot-check. In New York, some stores have unlocked black iPhone X models with 64GB of storage available for same-day pickup.
Plus, most iPhone X orders placed with Apple today will still ship weeks before Christmas, if not immediately. Sites like iStockNow can show you the nearest Apple stores with iPhone X in stock.
This development suggests that Apple has been able to greatly increase the number of iPhone X units shipping this holiday quarter. The phone was previously expected to be in short supply due to production issues, and people who pre-ordered it more than an hour after it first went on sale were told to expect their new phones to ship in 4-6 weeks.
On Friday, the iPhone X went on sale for the first time in 13 additional countries, including South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey. It's now on sale in 70 countries including the U.S.
'We're going to get as many of them as possible to customers as soon as possible'
Hollis JohnsonIn the weeks headed up to the iPhone X launch in September, several reports suggested significant production issues, with one closely-watched analyst saying that Apple's factory partners were only making 10,000 units per day before launch.
But recent reports have been more optimistic. In a note distributed to investors on Monday, the KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote that daily iPhone X production had "been well addressed" and had recently increased to between 450,000 and 550,000 per day.
He also wrote that one of the main production bottlenecks, the delicate and complicate front-facing facial recognition camera called True Depth, had been mostly solved, and increased his previous fourth quarter iPhone X shipments estimate 10%-20% higher. He had previously forecast 25-30 million iPhone X shipped this quarter.
Apple hasn't made excuses for iPhone X shortages, and it did forecast a record quarter of around $85.5 billion in sales for the holiday quarter.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about iPhone X supply during the company's most recent earnings call. His response:
"The ramp for the iPhone X is going well, especially considering that the iPhone X is the most advanced iPhone we've ever created and it has lots of new technology in it. So we're really happy that we're able to increase week by week what we're outputting and we're going to get as many of them as possible to customers as soon as possible."
For U.S. consumers, this means that there's still plenty of time to order an iPhone X and get it under the Christmas tree.
- The iPhone X's sped-up production means customers may get their phone before the holidays
- Apple supplier Foxconn says it will stop using illegal intern labour to assemble the iPhone X
- An Apple supplier has been accused of using illegal student interns to assemble the iPhone X