Demand for iPhone SE is 'Very Strong,' Exceeds Available Supply

Apple hasn't divulged sales numbers for the recently released iPhone SE, but during today's second quarter earnings call, company executives said that demand for the device was "very strong" and higher than expected.

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the iPhone SE puts Apple in a strategic plan to attract new customers with its affordable price point and powerful internal specifications. Cook says Apple is working hard to meet demand and improve shipping times for the device.

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We're thrilled with the response that we've seen on it. It is clear that there is a demand there even much beyond what we thought. That is really why we have the constraint that we have.

Since its release, the iPhone SE has been in short supply despite reports of lackluster sales. For the past several weeks, new iPhone SE orders have listed expected delivery times of two to three weeks, suggesting Apple has not yet been able to meet demand for the device.

Priced attractively at $399 for the entry-level 16GB model, the iPhone SE adopted the external design of the iPhone 5s with parts sourced from later iPhone models like the iPhone 6 and the 6s. The result is a 4-inch iPhone that is on par performance wise with Apple's current flagship devices.

Positive news about the iPhone SE comes as Apple is reporting its first ever decline in iPhone sales and its first year-over-year decline in revenue in 13 years. During the quarter, Apple sold 51 million iPhones, down from 61 million in Q2 2015. Revenue was at $50.6 billion, down from $58 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Apple's guidance for Q3 2016 suggests it expects the downward trend to continue, with the company forecasting expected revenue of $41-43 billion. In Q3 2015, Apple posted revenue of $49.6 billion.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: iPhone

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Top Rated Comments

Benjamin Frost Avatar
105 months ago
Apple should never have stopped selling a 4" iPhone, as the SE demand testifies. Cook said he was surprised at the strength of demand, and that it was a lot higher than he had anticipated.

That, to me, shows his blindness of strategy. For Apple to abandon the optimal form factor for two years was cretinous, and bodes badly for the future as long as Cook is CEO.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac 128 Avatar
105 months ago
We're thrilled with the response that we've seen on it. It is clear that there is a demand there even much beyond what we thought. That is really why we have the constraint that we have.
No Tim, the reason you have the supply constraints you have is because you insist on making 16GB the base configuration. The SE customers are smarter than that. There's plenty of 16GB SEs out there. The supply constraint is on the 64GB models.

Every Apple Store in Los Angeles was out of every 64GB model for every carrier, but they had loads of 16GB models they couldn't give away.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayducharme Avatar
105 months ago
I was confident this phone would sell well. IMO, it's a better size for a pocket device. But the big selling point is the internal hardware. I now have a 4" phone that's not a technological compromise. It's got a fast processor, plenty of memory and storage (at least the 64 gb version) and a great camera. It's exactly what I was looking for, and I assume there must have been others with the same opinion.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThomasJL Avatar
105 months ago
This is a clear sign that there is strong demand for a 4-inch form factor iPhone. Considering how clueless Tim Cook is, he will probably fail to make the connection and thus choose not to release a 4-inch iPhone 7 in the fall.

Instead of a 4-inch iPhone 7 in the fall, what we'll likely get according to the most reliable Apple product predictor on the planet, Ming-Chi Kuo, will be a 4.7 and 5.5 inch iPhone 7. A key feature in Cook's mind is a missing headphone jack. Cook believes it's more convenient for consumers to have a slimmer phone while carrying an adapter for their headphones.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
syndr0me Avatar
105 months ago
I went from a 6+ to an SE, and I like everything about it better.

It's way easier to hold, especially without a case. The square edges are superior.
The round volume buttons are much easier to differentiate.
The power button makes more sense on top. It's nice that its location matches the new iPad Pro which I also use frequently.
It fits perfectly for one hand use.
Fits in the front pocket of jeans that aren't huge.
I can still do just about everything I did before on the small screen without much compromise.

Cons? The lower contrast screen and increased distance from the glass to the LCD are noticeable. I never had force touch or TouchID2, so I can't comment on those. It's not as nice to view photos.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crosscreek Avatar
105 months ago
I love my SE. I'm sure it will be fine for a few years.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)