Apple shares were rising 0.21% to $219.27 a share Monday.
"iPhone 11 pre-order demand looks good out of the gates," wrote Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives in a Sunday evening note. Ives said that in tracking pre-order activity and trends in expected delivery times, he sees strength "across a number of models," with the iPhone 11 Pro, in particular, seeing a significant number of orders.
Sales in the greater Asian region, an area where Apple faces particularly strong competition, are also looking strong. That's according to an analysis from CNBC, which said that Apple's cheapest 11, the base iPhone 11, has been most popular so far in that region. The iPhone 11 is priced at $699, lower than the $750 charged on the current entry-level iPhone, the XR.
Chinese consumers usually must pay a premium for iPhones compared to what U.S. consumers have to pay, although that premium is lower this year than in previous years. The price for the base 11 in China is $777, an 11% premium over the U.S. price, lower than the XR's 28% premium in China, according to CNBC.
Apple's long-term success hinges on its services business, which is expected to account for a majority of the company's revenue and earnings within the next few years. Still, analysts and investors want to see a rebound in demand for Apple's hardware products, especially the all-important iPhone, as hardware still represents roughly half of Apple's revenue and earnings.
In late 2018, Apple was forced to reduce iPhone prices as demand in China had waned in the face of local competition and the innovation curve on the iPhone flattened. This year, Apple seemed to have gotten out in front of this pricing dynamic, pricing the base 11 lower than the XR.
The China region represents roughly 20% of all of Apple's iPhone sales. Analysts polled by FactSet are expecting iPhone revenues to decline year-over-year for 2019, with that decline moderating in 2020. Analysts expect iPhone revenue to increase 3.1% in 2021 compared to 2020.