Apple’s iPhone 8 sales have disappointed at least one carrier.
Speaking to Reuters in an interview published on Thursday, Rogers Communication CEO Joe Natale said iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus sales have so far been “anemic.” Natale, who helms Canada’s largest wireless carrier network, didn’t say exactly how many units his company has sold since the iPhone 8’s release last month.
Reports have been swirling for weeks that suggest the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus haven’t been selling well. While Apple (AAPL) itself hasn’t discussed iPhone 8 sales, analysts and market researchers say demand is low due in large part to customers waiting for the release of the company’s major smartphone upgrade, the iPhone X, next month.
When it was released last month, the iPhone 8 had a decidedly different launch than many of its predecessors. Unlike previous iPhones, like the iPhone 7, the latest model didn’t sell out when pre-orders were offered. And after the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus went on sale, many models were still available at Apple and carrier stores.
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Since then, reports have cautioned that iPhone 8 demand is low and the smartphone is even being outsold by last year’s iPhone 7 in some markets. Shareholders have responded with fear that Apple’s smartphone unit, which is critical to its profitability, could have a down quarter. They in turn sent Apple’s shares down nearly 3% on Thursday.
While Natale’s comments will do little to quell those fears, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said during an earnings call this week that things aren’t as bad as others might say. He acknowledged that smartphone upgrades at Verizon (vz) were down year-over-year without mentioning the iPhone by name, but said that with the release of new devices, customers demand should be “strong.”
It’s unclear, however, if iPhone 8 demand will also be strong.
Apple might shed some light on iPhone 8 sales on November 2, when it holds its fiscal fourth quarter earnings call.