There have been numerous reports of lower-than-expected iPhone sales since the launch of the latest models, and it's even been said that Apple recently cut its iPhone XR orders with suppliers amid tepid demand. Is that really the case, though? According to Apple, everything is fine and dandy, and the iPhone XR is actually the best selling new iPhone of the bunch.
As the previous story goes, Apple told three separate iPhone XR suppliers to either reduce expectations for orders, or to eliminate manufacturing lines for the handset. It also reportedly told Foxconn and Pegatron, it's two main suppliers, to halt plans for any additional iPhone XR production lines. Then later, Apple reportedly cut iPhone XR orders even further. More recently, it was also reported that the iPhone XR received a price cut in Japan.
Apple doesn't make it a habit of talking about such things, so we can't say for certain if the reports are true. However, Apple did tell CNET in an interview that the iPhone XR has been its "most popular iPhone each and every day since the day it became available."
In other words, the iPhone XR has been outselling the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max since October 26, the first day it started selling. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max had a jump start over the iPhone XR, as both starting selling more than a month earlier, on September 21.
Apple's revelation about the iPhone XR being its most popular handset may be an attempt to allay concerns about iPhone sales in general. The company's share price has fallen from $222.22 at the beginning of November to below $180 today, and is down from a high of $232.07 in early October. Clearly investors are worried about Apple's future prospects.
Adding to the uncertainty, Apple recently decided to stop reporting individual iPhone sales, along with other hardware as well. That decision may have given some investors reason to believe the company has something to hide. It also didn't help that IDC recently reported that smartphone sales overall are down for the fourth consecutive quarter.
Whether Apple's comments about the iPhone XR instill confidence in investors remains to be seen. Assuming Apple is being truthful, it would still be possible for iPhone sales to be slumping across the board. Related to that, the iPhone XR could be Apple's best-selling iPhone model while still coming in under projections. We're not saying that's the case, just that it's a possibility.
It's also possible that things are not nearly as dire as some analysts are making them out to be. The situation is reminiscent of the iPhone X launch and subsequent reports of soft sales. Apple put those notions to rest, however, when it revealed its first quarter earnings for 2018, at the time revealing that the iPhone X had outsold its other iPhone counterparts for every week during the quarter despite its $999 starting price.