iPhone Launch Day Line Survey: Cycle Off to a Solid Start

iPhone Launch Day Line Survey: Cycle Off to a Solid Start

Our annual iPhone launch day line surveys revealed a surprisingly high number of people waiting for a new phone and a directional positive related to the percentage of people opting for the more expensive Pro models.

Much of the observation during launch day is around the general atmosphere at Apple stores, which tends to set the tone for the cycle. Long lines and full stores typically equate to a stronger cycle. The expectation was that today would be more muted, with relatively short lines that would dissipate quickly. We observed longer than expected lines that persisted throughout the day.

The line at the 5th Ave store in New York was 89% longer than it was in 2018 for the iPhone XS and XR launches combined. We also surveyed five Apple Stores in the Minneapolis metro area, where the lines were, on average, 20% longer than last year’s combined launches.

82% of respondents were buying an iPhone 11 Pro or Pro Max. While the line waiters are generally Apple fanatics that tend to opt for the higher-optioned devices, we were expecting 70% to opt for the Pro models. This is a sign that the new camera system and battery appear to be enough of an upgrade to keep loyal Apple fans engaged.

  • Of the respondents opting for the Pro models, 56% were buying the 11 Pro Max vs. 44% for the 11 Pro. The percentage of respondents purchasing the larger display declined to 46% from 70% last year (XS/XS Max). Importantly, the average over the last six releases is 57% opting for the larger display, essentially in line with today’s survey.
  • The breakdown of capacity (small, medium, large) was in line with the historical average, with a slightly higher percentage of respondents opting for the smaller capacity vs the larger.
  • Netting the 7% price decline for the entry-level iPhone 11 against the higher percentage of Pro buyers will still likely yield a slight (~2%) drop in iPhone ASPs for this cycle.