Apple Bucks Tradition, Won’t Announce Opening Weekend Sales For iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus

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When it comes to the opening weekend for a brand new iPhone release, Apple has a tradition of announcing record sales figures. The company usually proudly touts tremendous year-over-year growth, with Apple CEO Tim Cook proclaiming last year, “Sales for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been phenomenal, blowing past any previous first weekend sales results in Apple’s history.”

Indeed, Apple sold 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones during their debut in 2014, while the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus countered with 13 million units in 2015. Perhaps in a sign of the times, where Apple’s iPhone sales have been on a slight downward trajectory, the company revealed this week that it won’t be announcing opening weekend sales for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

In a statement to CNBC, Apple wrote:

In years past, we’ve announced how many iPhones had been sold as of the first weekend following launch... These initial sales will be governed by supply, not demand, and we have decided that it is no longer a representative metric for our investors and customers. Therefore, we won’t be releasing a first-weekend number any longer.

It’s an interesting turn for a company that proudly trumpets its successes with the iPhone. The company just recently announced that over 1 billion iPhones have been sold since it first launched in 2007 and Cook reiterated that figure at yesterday’s iPhone keynote.

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When Apple reported its Q3 earnings in late July, the company indicated that it sold 40.4 million iPhones for the quarter compared to 47.7 million one year ago. Apple saw the most resistance in China, where homegrown OEMs like Huawei and Xiaomi ate into its share of the market with cheap, feature-packed smartphones.

There’s no sign that the downward sales trend will reverse any time soon for Apple, so perhaps it’s wise to play its cards close to the chest this time around.