Canada's Largest Wireless Carrier Laments Anemic Apple iPhone 8 Sales

Apple generally sees a significant uptick in iPhone sales after releasing a brand new model, which is usually reflected in quarterly earnings reports. We will know in time if that is the case with its iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models. In the meantime, wireless carriers in the United States and Canada have noted a slowdown in upgrades to the iPhone 8 series, with one carrier even deeming demand as being "anemic."

Joe Natale, chief executive officer of Rogers Communication, the largest wireless carrier in Canada, is the one who said that about the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. However, Natale also noted that anticipation for Apple's iPhone X with an all-screen organic light emitting diode (OLED) display is high. It is entirely possible (and very likely) that a large number of iPhone fans are waiting for the iPhone X to be available, rather than jumping on an iPhone 8 device.

iPhone 8

Verizon CFO Matt Ellis also believes that is the case.

"I think what you're seeing there is a difference in timing of some of the new devices coming out versus what we've historically seen," Ellis stated during an earnings call. "As we get into the holiday seasons, some of those new devices come out, we think we will see strong demand."

Some are even more optimistic. Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer at GBH Insights in New York, thinks Apple is on the verge of the largest iPhone release to date.

"iPhone 8 demand has been naturally soft out of the gates with the main event being the iPhone X launch in early November. [But] this is the early innings of what we believe is the biggest iPhone product cycle with X leading the way," Ives told Reuters.

Apple shook things up this round by not only releasing a new generation of iPhone models, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, but also a third variant in the iPhone X. It is drawing attention as the first iPhone to have an OLED display. Also unique to the iPhone X is that it is the first iPhone to do away with the physical home button. On top of it all, the iPhone X will feature facial recognition technology—Apple is calling its implementation Face ID.

It remains to bee seen how widely available the iPhone X will be. There has been chatter of limited production, which could leave a lot of buyers waiting around. It's also an expensive handset ($999 for the 64GB model and $1,149 for the 256GB model), though Apple's products have always commanded a premium.