Apple’s been pretty quite when it comes to early sales figures for the new device, and that’s probably because - in the words of mobile analytics firm Localytics - they’re pretty “lackluster.” The company’s research shows that the iPhone SE grabbed a mere 0.1 percent of the iPhone market over its first weekend of sales.
This wasn't the only bad news for Apple. A recent CNBC report claimed that the new device was proving to be very popular in some overseas markets, and that orders for the phone had already topped 3.4 million units in China. However, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expressed doubt as to the accuracy of the claims.
Although there exists a market survey that indicates iPhone SE preorders top 3.4mn units in China, we couldn’t find more evidence to support this. However, judging by the delivery time for iPhone SE preorders, we believe initial demand for the iPhone SE following the announcement has been significantly lower than that of past new models. We believe this is due in part to lackluster demand for smaller-size smartphones and, more importantly, that the product itself offers no significant upgrades to form factor or hardware specs.
There are several possible reasons why the new iPhone may have suffered poor first-weekend sales compared to other iOS device launches. For a start, it was released on the same day that Tesla unveiled its Model 3 vehicle, which grabbed a lot of press attention. Also, the fact it is essentially a low-cost, four-inch, upgraded version of the iPhone 5s means it's targetted more toward emerging markets rather than the US. Finally, most Apple fans looking for a new smartphone will likely be waiting until September, when the iPhone 7 is due.
The recent iPad Pro 9.7-inch, on the other hand, did fairly well during its opening weekend. According to Localytics, it performed slightly better over its first few days than its predecessor managed last fall.