According to TF International’s Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, demand for the iPhone 15 Pro Max is incredibly high. Kuo stated that the demand for this top-of-the-line model surpasses last year’s demand for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. On the other hand, the demand for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus is similar to that of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus seen last year. However, Kuo noted that the demand for the iPhone 15 Pro is lower compared to last year’s pre-orders for the iPhone 14 Pro. This can be attributed to the stronger demand for the new Pro Max model this year. It is also important to mention that the wait times for the iPhone 15 Pro Max are longer than for other iPhone 15 models, although this is not solely due to demand.
Kuo did not specify whether the periscope camera found only in the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the reason behind this higher demand. However, he mentioned that the production challenges for the iPhone 15 Pro Max are more pronounced compared to other models, leading to the longer wait times. Kuo further stated that the iPhone 15 series pre-order results are similar to last year’s pre-order results for the iPhone 14. Despite concerns related to the Chinese ban on iPhone use in certain government offices, the pre-order results for the iPhone 15 have exceeded analysts’ expectations.
Regarding the Chinese market, Kuo clarified that Chinese Communist Party members, government employees, and state-owned businesses are not the primary target for Apple when selling iPhones in China. He described the iPhone ban as an isolated decision by specific government organizations or state-owned enterprises, thus limiting its impact on iPhone sales in the country. While Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro launch with its own 5G Kirin chipset was expected to negatively affect iPhone 15 pre-orders in China, Kuo disagreed. He mentioned that iPhone pre-orders in China are mainly made by “core users or Apple fans,” not the typical group that buys Huawei phones. However, Kuo acknowledged that some e-commerce sites in China might overstate iPhone pre-orders since they do not require a deposit.
Kuo remains confident in his forecast that Apple will ship 80 million units of the iPhone 15 series this year. It is worth noting that Apple’s shares have dropped since the announcement of the ban on September 6. Kuo’s forecast suggests that he believes the stock will rebound.