iPhone SE Sales Forecasted as 'Lackluster' Over First Weekend

While it appears that Apple has elected not to share first weekend sales numbers for the iPhone SE, as it has done in the past for some flagship models, multiple analysts have forecasted that sales of the new 4-inch smartphone were "lackluster" during its first three to four days of availability.

iPhone-SE-gaming
In a research note issued today, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo questioned last week's CNBC report claiming that iPhone SE orders topped 3.4 million in China, and added that demand for the iPhone SE "has been significantly lower than that of past new models" since launching on March 31.

Lackluster iPhone SE demand supports our view. Although there exists a market survey that indicates iPhone SE preorders top 3.4mn units in China, we couldn’t find more evidence to support this. However, judging by the delivery time for iPhone SE preorders, we believe initial demand for the iPhone SE following the announcement has been significantly lower than that of past new models. We believe this is due in part to lackluster demand for smaller-size smartphones and, more importantly, that the product itself offers no significant upgrades to form factor or hardware specs.

Mobile analytics firm Localytics echoed Kuo, claiming that iPhone SE adoption was "lackluster" following the device's launch. According to the firm's research, the iPhone SE "managed to grab only 0.1% of the iPhone market" over its first weekend of sales, which marked lower adoption than the iPhone 5s and all of the "6" models.

iPhone-SE-Localytics
Apple launched the iPhone SE last Thursday on the same day as Tesla began accepting reservations for its lower-cost Model 3, and consumer excitement was unsurprisingly geared towards the highly-anticipated electric vehicle. In fact, many Tesla locations in the U.S. and Europe had longer lineups than nearby Apple retail stores.

Kuo forecasted that overall iPhone shipments will likely fall below 200 million units in 2016, indicating that the iPhone SE will not be enough for Apple to overcome "peak iPhone" until at least next year.

We forecast 1H16 and 2H16 iPhone shipments of 85-95mn units and 105-115mn units, respectively, implying full-year shipments of 190-210mn units (vs. 232mn in 2015), below market consensus of 210-230mn units.

In light of market feedback for iPhone 6s, 6s Plus and SE, we believe growth on replacement demand for larger display is slowing. We are therefore conservative about shipments of current iPhone models in 1Q-3Q16.

Nevertheless, considering that the iPhone SE is effectively an upgraded iPhone 5s, and based on a design first introduced in 2012, it is largely unsurprising that demand among early adopters may be lower than usual. Apple's flagship iPhone 7 series is also due in September, which many customers are likely holding out for.

The success of the iPhone SE in emerging markets such as China, India, and Pakistan is likely what Apple is more concerned about. The smartphone's lower starting price should help get the device in the hands of consumers in markets where premium smartphones are out of reach for some due to socioeconomic factors.

In those markets, there is at least anecdotal evidence to suggest that the iPhone SE may be off to a good start.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Neutral)
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

orioncrystalice Avatar
87 months ago
Apple releases small phone 6 months after big phone, less people buy, surprise is had?
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
asleep Avatar
87 months ago
SE was never going to be quick out of the gates,

But it'll catch up with steady sales over time.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
err404 Avatar
87 months ago
Tesla must be to blame. Too many people choose to pre-order a car instead of a phone.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sirious Avatar
87 months ago
Where are all the people that wanted a new 4 inch iPhone?

(yes, its not exactly 'new', its a refined 5s).
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kcirtap00 Avatar
87 months ago
Apple launched the iPhone SE last Thursday on the same day as Tesla began accepting reservations for its lower-cost Model 3 ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/04/01/tesla-unveils-35000-model-3-electric-car/'), and consumer excitement was unsurprisingly geared towards the highly-anticipated electric vehicle.
Can we stop acting like the Tesla announcement stole any of Apple's thunder? They're two completely separate products and each got a fair amount of coverage in the news. Consumers are smart enough to hear about two new things on the same day and not fixate on one.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
talkybear Avatar
87 months ago
Apple didn't even try. They could have eliminated the bezel and made this a 4.3'' brand new phone.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Can't Get an iPhone 14 Pro? Here's Why You Should Wait for the iPhone 15 Ultra

Monday December 5, 2022 11:44 am PST by
Due to production issues at Apple supplier factories in China, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are backordered and basically out of stock at every store. If you were planning to gift or receive an iPhone 14 Pro model for the holidays and didn't already get one, you're basically out of luck because they're gone until late December. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

FBI Calls End-to-End Encryption 'Deeply Concerning' as Privacy Groups Hail Apple's Advanced Data Protection as a Victory for Users

Thursday December 8, 2022 2:45 am PST by
Apple yesterday announced that end-to-end encryption is coming to even more sensitive types of iCloud data, including device backups, messages, photos, and more, meeting the longstanding demand of both users and privacy groups who have rallied for the company to take the significant step forward in user privacy. iCloud end-to-end encryption, or what Apple calls "Advanced Data Protection,"...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple Music Sing in iOS 16.2

Wednesday December 7, 2022 12:24 pm PST by
With the iOS 16.2 release candidate that came out today, Apple added the new Apple Music Sing feature that was announced earlier this week. We thought we'd check out the new karaoke feature to see how it works. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple Music Sing is available on modern iPhones and iPads, as well as the newest Apple TV 4K. It's built in to the Apple...
Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple to Charge Under $100,000 for Apple Car, Launch Planned for 2026

Tuesday December 6, 2022 2:31 pm PST by
Apple is aiming to launch an Apple-branded consumer-oriented vehicle by 2026, and its goal is to hit a price point under $100,000 to make the car appeal to a wider range of customers, reports Bloomberg. Apple initially planned to design a car that might look similar to Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle, where passengers could face one another in a limousine-style car with no steering wheel or...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Expected to Launch Next Week With These 12 New Features

Thursday December 8, 2022 7:05 am PST by
iOS 16.2 is expected to be released next week following nearly two months of beta testing. With last-minute additions like Apple Music Sing and Advanced Data Protection, the software update now has over a dozen new features for the iPhone. Below, we've recapped many of the new features coming with iOS 16.2, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets, the...
introducing apple music sing

Apple Music Adding a Karaoke Experience With Apple Music Sing

Tuesday December 6, 2022 7:09 am PST by
Apple today announced Apple Music Sing, a new feature in Apple Music that lets users sing their favorite songs with adjustable vocals and more. Apple Music Sing will utilize Apple Music's real-time lyrics to allow users to sing to their favorite songs using adjustable vocals, background vocals, and duet view to allow more than one singer.Apple Music Sing includes: Adjustable vocals: Users...
Twitter Feature

Twitter to Charge $11 Per Month for Twitter Blue on iPhone, $7 on Website

Wednesday December 7, 2022 6:47 pm PST by
Twitter plans to charge $11 per month for a Twitter Blue subscription on the iPhone in order to account for the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from in-app purchases, reports The Information. On the web, Twitter Blue will be priced at $7 per month. Prior to when Twitter Blue was paused, Twitter was charging $7.99 for a subscription, but the pricing will change before it relaunches. According ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

Apple Announces End-to-End Encryption Option for iCloud Photos, Notes, Backups, and More

Wednesday December 7, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today announced it is expanding end-to-end encryption to many additional iCloud data categories on an opt-in basis for enhanced security. iCloud already protects 14 data categories using end-to-end encryption by default, including the Messages app when backups are disabled, passwords stored in iCloud Keychain, Health data, Apple Maps search history, Apple Card transactions, and more,...