Early reports suggest that sales of the iPhone 14 have been above expectations since preorders began on the 9th of September. This showing has come in the face of a difficult macro environment – with the smartphone upgrade cycle for smartphones lengthening and the global economy slowing. Despite these headwinds, however, it appears consumers’ relationship with the manufacturer persists and is as strong as ever.
The demand, however, has not been spread equally across all models. Reports suggest that 85% of these early buyers purchased either the iPhone 14 Pro or the Pro Max. Given this early popularity, Apple is reportedly shifting some of the production it planned for the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus over to the two higher-end models.
This news is further validation that Apple sits the pinnacle of the smartphone hierarchy commands consumers’ attention in a way not approached by any other manufacturer. Even the handwringing in the press of over the high price point of the iPhone 14 series and limited feature upgrades does not appear to have dampened consumers’ enthusiasm for the new smartphones. With this latest launch, it is expected that iPhones will achieve a 60% share of the US market for smartphones above $500.
Beyond showcasing the overall strength of the iPhone brand, there is another interesting trend to be found in these early numbers: the increasing demand for the most expensive versions of this smartphone. If current patterns continue, it would be a strong indicator that although consumers are upgrading their phones less often, they are treating these purchases as major investments and are willing to spend more. There is an important caveat to this theory however, early iPhone sales have always skewed towards the higher-end models – since a portion of the preorders are from Apple devotees excited for the latest and greatest from the manufacturer. That said, this faction of consumers have always represented part of early iPhone sales, so their presence cannot fully explain the fact that the manufacturer is now reducing its production of the 14 and 14 Plus and to increase the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max.