Last Wednesday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched its newest smartphone models, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The iPhone 7 starts at $649 while the 7 Plus starts at $769. Wallstreet analysts have been saying for quite sometime now that the sales figures of the new iPhone would only match or do worse than last year’s. In September 2015, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus did reach a record of 13 million units sold in the first three days after the launch.
But, surprising news came out of two of the biggest mobile carriers. T-Mobile and Sprint have reported that the iPhone 7 pre-sale figures were exceeding expectations. All four major mobile carriers (Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T), have offered enticing promos where customers can trade-in their old iPhones for a new one for free, as long as they’d agree to extend their contracts for two more years.
T-Mobile was the first to market the trade-in offer. Last Monday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere stated on Periscope, “It’s like four times bigger than the iPhone 6 for us at the pre-order stage.” He explained how the iPhone 7 pre-orders have reached a new single-day sales record. Legere also posted on his Twitter account, saying “The iPhone 7 has been doing amazing at @TMobile!! Let’s talk about it!!” He then followed up with a discussion of how well the iPhone 7 is selling.
Sprint came out with a similar report. They also said that the pre-orders of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have increased to nearly four times. The company has caught the interest of new and existing customers with their iPhone Forever promo. The sales figures have now grown to 375% in just the first three days as compared to last year’s sales.
Meanwhile, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure stated, “It’s clear that Sprint customers want to get the most out of the incredible iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and know there’s no better place for this than Sprint. No other carrier can match the value Sprint offers iPhone customers. With Unlimited Freedom and also 50% Off, as well as innovative programs such as iPhone Forever, we can meet any customer’s needs. Our network has never performed better, and we’re pleased to deliver the hottest smartphone of the year to our loyal customers and we welcome many more who are giving us a try.”
Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet earlier confirmed that Cupertino had decided to not release the number of devices purchased during the first weekend of sales. Although Apple said the decision was not due to the low customer demand or expectations, the decision was certainly not welcome news for the Street.
“Less data is never good, particularly given the question marks around this phone,” BGC Partners’s Colin Gillis said, adding that investors will not be happy about losing a data point.
Apple closed Tuesday’s regular trading at $108.13, up $2.69, or 2.55%. In pre-market hours, the shares have gained $0.87 or 0.81%.