Apple (AAPL): Analysts Weigh in on iPhone 13 'Lengthy' Delivery Times, US Customers Facing Up to 5 Weeks Wait for Pro and Pro Max

September 21, 2021 6:22 AM EDT
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Four days into pre-orders, Wall Street analysts are discussing iPhone 13 lead times. The Cupertino-based titan giant started shipping out the new lineup to customers who pre-ordered one of the new devices last Friday.

Prices for new models start at $699 with those who ordered first will welcome their new mobile phone on Friday, September 24.

Raymond James analyst Chris Caso sees “relatively lengthy delivery times, particularly for the higher-end Pro and Pro Max models.”

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) said that the waiting time for Pro and Pro Max models is 4-5 weeks in the US, as well as the UK, Germany, China, Japan and Australia. The standard model, as well as Mini, have lead times of 2 to 3 weeks.

For Caso, this is a “good sign.”

“The higher-end models are experiencing solid demand, even in non-U.S. regions, which don’t carry the subsidies that the U.S. carriers are offering. In addition, we believe Apple allocated more production to the higher-end models this year vs. last year. We believe that last year, Apple was somewhat surprised about the positive mix shift toward the high end, which resulted in long delivery times for the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max right up until Christmas,” the analyst said in a client note.

Despite the fact that Apple allocated higher production for more expensive models, the lengthy lead times imply the demand is very strong.

“Better availability of higher-end models coupled with more generous U.S. carrier subsidies keep us bullish with respect to mix for the iPhone 13 cycle. Longer delivery times for these high-end models are supportive of our thesis,” the analyst concluded.

Credit Suisse analyst Matthew Cabral also noted “extended” lead times. After digging deeper into the data, the analyst outlines four key themes: 1) Lead times are extended vs. last year on all models; 2) iPhone 13 Pro & Pro Max waits are longer vs. the base iPhone 13 in all markets, 3) Wait times are ~1 week longer in the US, and 4) 128GB iPhone 13/13 mini models are tightest.

“We’d highlight that while wait times are a rough proxy for initial demand, the metric is only one of many variables impacting iPhone sell-through; supply availability is a key unknown, particularly this year. In terms of methodology, we’re measuring shipping lead times for iPhones purchased directly through Apple’s website in several major markets around the world. Note that our data do not capture demand/inventory through Apple’s physical retail stores nor their vast distribution channel including carriers and retailers. We plan to refresh this analysis regularly until all newly-launched models reach supply/demand balance; last year, it took ~3 weeks to reach equilibrium (100% <1wk) for the base iPhone 12 and 10 days for the 12 mini vs. ~4 months for 12 Pro and ~2 months for the 12 Pro Max,” Cabral said in a client note.

Shares of Apple are up 1.1% in pre-open following yesterday’s selloff.

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