Some Apple (AAPL) - Get Report fans may be passing on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus for now because they want to get a look at the iPhone X before they put down money for a new device. However, KeyBanc analyst John Vinh notes that a good number are instead opting for last year's devices over the tenth-anniversary iPhones that Apple unveiled this year.
"During our carrier surveys, many respondents indicated that a meaningful portion of customers are buying [the] iPhone 7 in lieu of the new iPhone 8, given the lack of significant enhancements in the new phone," Vinh wrote in a Sunday report. Apparently the wireless charging, slick glass back, faster new processor, slow motion 4K video at 60 frames per second and other tweaks are not impressing many Apple users. Apple also gave shoppers another reason to consider the iPhone 7 when it cut the price by $100 following the release of the iPhone 8.
Shares of Apple gained 1.8% to $159.88 on Monday afternoon, putting the stock up more than 37% this year.
The iPhone 7 now goes for $549 with 32GB of memory and $649 for the 128GB version. The iPhone 8 starts at $699 for the 64GB model and jumps to $849 for a phone with 256GB of memory. The iPhone 8 Plus is $799 and $949 when outfitted with 64GB or 256GB of memory, respectively.
"Store managers indicate demand for the iPhone 7 is higher than demand for older-generation phones in previous cycles," Vinh wrote.
It doesn't help that the wireless carriers have been less generous with their offers for the latest iPhone than they were last year, when deals for free iPhones with a qualifying trade in proliferated.
Sprint (S) - Get Report ended its offer for a free iPhone 8 with a trade-in of a high-end qualifying phone, and now offers a $350 discount with a trade-in. And Verizon (VZ) - Get Report dropped its $300 discount for an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus with a trade-in. The carrier reports earnings on Thursday, and could give investors a heads-up about its promotional strategy heading into the holiday shopping season.
T-Mobile (TMUS) - Get Report still offers $300 for a trade-in, while AT&T (T) - Get Report has a buy-one-get-one-free offer for the iPhone 8 -- but only for customers of its DirecTV or U-Verse pay-TV services.
While the offers for the iPhone 8 seem to have been underwhelming so far, the big telecoms could launch another round of promotions when preorders for the iPhone X begin on on Oct. 27.
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