New iPhone sales may be showing some signs of weakening, but that might not be a bad thing for Apple

Is interest in the new iPhone XS and iPhone XR smartphones weaker than for previous releases? The data we have suggests that there may be some signs of weakening, but that this might not be a bad thing. In fact, it might be good news for Apple.

Is interest in new iPhones waning? The data suggests that it might finally be happening. And it might be good news for Apple.

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While only Apple has the real figures - and Apple won't be disclosing unit sales in future financial statements - it's possible to get a picture of things using third-party data. One such source of data is business analytics firm Mixpanel.

While Mixpanel doesn't have access to iPhone sales, clients who use its analytics capturing code in apps offer the company access to interesting trend data.

Let's take a look at the data from 1 September to present.

​Mixpanel iPhone data

We can compare this to the same time period last year.

​Mixpanel iPhone data

Here's where the new iPhones fit in with last year's crop.

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​Mixpanel iPhone data

Let's dig into the data.

Two weeks on from availability, iPhone XR adoption is at 0.74 percent of all iPhones. Following the first two weeks of sales for the iPhone XS, that figure stood at 0.94 percent, with the iPhone XS Max at 1.25 percent.

Wind back a year and the adoption figures after the first two weeks of sale for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were at 0.74 and 1.08 percent, respectively.

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At the two-week mark, adoption for the iPhone X stood at 2.02 percent.

OK, so what's the take away from this?

So there are signs that iPhone XR adoptions were perhaps weaker than adoption for the iPhone 8/8 Plus. But the flipside is that iPhone XS/XS Max adoption seems good. And remember that the iPhone XS Max starts at $999. And it seems that the iPhone XS Max may have suffered from supply issues, dampening initial adoption.

So it's swings and roundabouts. While adoptions figures do suggest that sales may be a bit weaker, especially at the lower end, revenue may be unaffected, or may even be higher, because Apple is pushing higher priced devices.

Maybe Apple was right to wean analysts, pundits, and Wall Street types off of their obsession with iPhone unit sales, and instead focus their minds on revenue.

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