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Pacific Crest pours cold water on Apple’s iPhone 6S sales claims

September 17, 2015, 5:10 PM UTC
Apple's iPhone 6 Release
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 19: People lined up at the Eatons Centre in Toronto some of them for days to be first to get their hands on the new iphone 6 with its bigger screen the line ups stretched all around the top of the Eaton Centre from the Apple store and wound its way down to the lower levels. (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Photograph by Colin McConnell — Toronto Star via Getty Images

Most analysts who weighed in earlier this week took at face value Apple’s statement that pre-orders last weekend for the iPhone 6S were “very strong” around the world, that online orders for the iPhone 6S Plus were “exceptionally strong” and that the new iPhones were “on pace to beat last year’s 10 million first weekend record.”

Not Pacific Crest’s Andy Hargreaves.

“Apple’s statement,” he wrote in a note to clients Thursday, “appears to be a statement on supply. Relative to demand, the preponderance of data points suggests that demand for the iPhone 6s is lower than it was for the iPhone 6, possibly meaningfully so. This includes Google search data, device shipment times, third-party surveys, a lack of comments from carriers, and a lack of quantitative comment on pre-orders in Apple’s statement.”

That’s the first time I’ve seen an analyst offer a Google search and two lacks of comment as reasons to call BS on Tim Cook’s Apple. I’m going to revisit this in a week and a half, if and when Apple discloses first weekend sales.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.