KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who's built a reputation for correctly predicting many of Apple's moves, said that reports of lower-than-expected iPhone 8 sales are "overdone" and called the market's response "excessively negative," according to MacRumors. Kuo added that Apple is expecting demand to be split 50/50 between the iPhone X and the iPhone 8/8 Plus and, based on that, sales of the iPhone 8 models appear to be on track with expectations.
The stock has fallen steadily since Apple launched its next generation iPhones on Sept. 12 on concerns about sales for its new products, but shares are still up more than 30% so far this year.
"At first glance, the combined first-week adoption rate for the iPhone 8/8 Plus might appear low (about half that of iPhone 6s/6s Plus and 7/7 Plus)," Kuo explained. "However, this is due to the fact that the iPhone X is not included, not because iPhone 8/8 Plus first weekend sales have been weak."
Kuo believes market analysts are mis-characterizing demand for the iPhone 8/8 Plus sales because they're focusing on the lines that form outside channels that sell SIM card-free and unlocked devices, such as the Apple Store and Best Buy. But analysts may be overlooking demand at carrier channels, or at telcos like Verizon (V - Get Report) , AT&T (T - Get Report) , Sprint (S - Get Report) and T-Mobile (TMUS - Get Report) .
"While we acknowledge that queues outside SIM-free channels have been much shorter than after previous iPhone launches, we see stable first-weekend demand for the iPhone 8/8 Plus in carrier channels," Kuo said. "Most of those camping outside unlocked-device outlets are presumably hardcore Apple fans and heavy users, whose plan this year is to gear up for the iPhone X."
Watch: Could Your iPhone X be Delayed?
Other analysts were equally bearish. Mobile app analytics company Localytics said that based on their user data, fewer Apple users may be upgrading to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus than did the iPhone 5S back in 2013. Localytics' data doesn't represent actual sales of the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, but measures users who have received their phones and are using apps.
Additionally, Kuo and Localytics both believe that the iPhone 8 Plus is outselling the iPhone 8 so far.
Citi analyst Jim Suva said in a note earlier this week that he believes the iPhone 8 attracted "modest" crowds with thin lines and that ship times for devices ordered online were quicker than previous years.
"We aren't surprised that current ship times are quicker and lines shorter than prior launches, as we believe users will wait to compare to iPhone X before making a final purchase," Suva noted.
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