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Apple gives itself an extra 6 days to sell 10 million iPhones, hinting at slower pre-orders

Gregg Keizer | Sept. 15, 2015
But the iPhone 6S Plus is already backordered 3-4 weeks.

More importantly, this year's stretch between the beginning of pre-orders and the end of the first weekend of retail availability will be 16 days, six days longer than 2014's span. If Apple needs the additional time to reach the 10-million mark, sales will have been slower this year compared to last.

The one constant between 2014 and 2015 has been the popularity of the plus-sized iPhone and the resulting inventory shortage. Twelve months ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the same about that year's new iPhones: "Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend," he noted in a statement at the time.

For the original iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple wasn't able to match supply with demand until January 2015, approximately four months after launch. Although early indications are that the Cupertino, Calif. will reach a balance faster this year, the fact that Apple has again underestimated demand for the larger model, or been unable to produce enough to eliminate long wait times, was both troubling and par for the course for the firm.

Apple is to start selling the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus at retail early Friday, Sept. 25. The longer lag between pre-order and retail availability may be Apple's tactic to accumulate enough inventory, especially of the iPhone 6S Plus, to sufficiently stock its own stores.


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