10 Takeaways from Apple’s Sellout iPhone X Pre-Order Day

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10 Takeaways from Apple’s Sellout iPhone X Pre-Order Day

Apple sold out of its initial supply of iPhone X smartphones in minutes after the pre-order period started at midnight Pacific Time Oct. 27. While Apple confirmed the fast sellout, it noted that some iPhone Xs would be available at retail stores when it officially starts shipping the phones Nov. 3. Sprint and AT&T reported having pre-order units available well into Friday morning. Later, the usual stories emerged about enterprising consumers offering their newly ordered units on eBay far above retail prices and one retailer putting a premium price on its stock of iPhone Xs. This slide show will discuss what happened on pre-order day and what it means for iPhone X shipments and demand going forward.

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Online Upgrade System Didn't Work for Some Customers

When Apple’s iPhone X pre-orders kicked off at 12:01 a.m. PT Oct. 27, some customers were unable to order a handset, as the company's online upgrade system wasn't working. In a letter to customers, the company promised to “solve this issue,” didn’t say how it might make up for the glitch to customers.

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Available Pre-order Stock Sold Out Fast

There’s some debate over exactly when Apple’s iPhone X pre-orders sold out, but everyone agrees it was fast. Some reports have pegged Apple’s sell-out at five minutes and others at 10 minutes. Carriers also sold out of some, but not all, iPhone models in very little time.

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AT&T, Sprint Supplies Lasted Into the Morning

Some carriers still had some iPhone X units still available the morning of Oct. 27. AT&T and Sprint had pre-order iPhone X models with promises of getting units to customers as early as launch day. Best Buy had pre-order units available with a Nov. 10 shipment date, one week after the official launch.

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Early Demand Has Far-Outstripped Supply

Although Apple has not discussed iPhone X demand, market analysts said as many as 40 million people could pre-order the company’s handset. Others will get in line Nov. 3 to see if they can be among the lucky few who are early enough to get the smartphone from an Apple Store or a mobile carrier on launch day.

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What We’re Hearing About Supply

If the pre-order demand for iPhone X is shocking, consider that Apple is expected to have only 20 million to 25 million units available to customers through the end of the year. That means Apple barely will be able to meet about half the demand for iPhone Xs through the end of the year. People who were unable to pre-order an iPhone X Oct. 27 will have to wait well into 2018 to get one.

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Best Buy Offered Special iPhone X Pricing

Best Buy charged shoppers an additional $100 for both the $999 and $1,149 iPhone X versions. In a statement, Best Buy said it made the move after customers allegedly said they want “flexibility” to walk into its stores, choose a carrier, pick a consumer or business service plan and more. "And sometimes that has a cost,” the company said in a statement.

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Which Models Were Most Popular?

Apple hasn’t announced which iPhone X version is most popular, but customer reports suggested buyers were most interested in the Space Grey 256GB version. Close behind were the 256GB Silver and 64GB Space Grey models. The 64GB Silver was the last to sell out.

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Some Ship Dates Are Still Up in the Air

Apple confirmed it will release the iPhone X Nov. 3. Buyers who were lucky enough to enter their orders within five minutes after pre-orders started likely will get their iPhone on that date. Some carriers, such as AT&T, have set date ranges for phone shipments. Apple likely will need a few days to determine its supply and shipment plans. Then Apple and its distribution partners will adjust shipment schedules accordingly.

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iPhone 8 Trade-In Pricing Spiked

Ahead of the iPhone X’s pre-order date, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus trade-in pricing was surging, according to reports. Those who purchased the iPhone 8 line in September could have turned in their old devices without losing too much money and significantly defrayed the cost of the iPhone X. Early data suggests some of them did just that.

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eBay Sellers Get Into the Mix

Some of the people who pre-ordered the iPhone X saw it as a business opportunity and offered their iPhones on eBay to the highest bidders. On Friday, some customers were offering to sell their launch-day iPhone Xs for thousands of dollars to those who weren't able to pre-order the handset.

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