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Sep 24, 2018

iPhone XS debut wins early Wall Street buzz

Apple's Biggest, Most Expensive iPhone Hits the Streets

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Apple Inc. (AAPL.O) released two of its newest iPhones for sale over the weekend, and some upbeat comments from Wall Street helped lift the stock, which had petered out following a brief rally when the new models were unveiled earlier this month.

More attractive discounts at carriers including Verizon Communications Inc. should benefit sales of the iPhone XS and XS Max and result in volume growth in the low- to mid-single digit range, RBC Capital Markets said. Positive indications of sales over the weekend should surprise investors expecting a “lukewarm reception,” according to Citigroup Inc.

The stock rose as much as 1.2 per cent Monday as the broader U.S. equity market fell. Apple’s shares are still trading about 3 per cent below the level where they peaked after the company introduced a trio of new phones on September 12.

RBC, Amit Daryanani

More attractive carrier discounts for the iPhone XS and XS Max compared with deals offered last year could result in a “healthy cycle from a volume standpoint” even as average selling prices increase.

Apple’s iPhone volumes could expand in the low- to mid-single digit range this cycle, as a broader iPhone portfolio should have a wider appeal and help fuel market share gains.

Users have little reason to delay new iPhone purchases now that the higher selling prices that accompanied the iPhone X are likely to continue.

Citi, Jim Suva

While it’s hard to draw a conclusion from just a few days, positive indications for XS and XS Max sales should surprise investors who expected the new devices to have a “lukewarm reception.”

It appears Apple is shipping and stocking more units with higher memory configurations.

That should be a boon for gross margins given higher average selling prices for phones with more memory.

Rosenblatt, Jun Zhang

Sales of iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max were better than sales of the iPhone X in its debut despite indications of “weak” sales of the XS.

Estimate a combined total of about 7 million iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max units sold over the weekend with the XS Max selling out and XS leaving some inventory in various retail channels.

While it’s too early to speculate on demand for iPhone XR, market research suggests pre-orders are stronger than XS and XS Max, and similar to iPhone 8 and iPhone 8+ levels.

IPhone XS production could be cut to 10 million units from 15 million units in the second half of the year.