Reading iPhone Pre-Order Tea Leaves

Reading iPhone Pre-Order Tea Leaves

  • At 8:00 AM ET today, Apple began taking pre-orders for iPhone 12 Mini and Pro Max.
  • This is three weeks after pre-orders began for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.
  • Bottom line: Lead time changes throughout the morning for iPhone 12 Mini and Pro Max have essentially mirrored what we observed for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders three weeks ago.
  • Importantly, we were not expecting changes to lead times this morning given supply for the two most recent iPhones is likely greater than the supply for the two iPhones that began pre-orders on Oct. 16th. This is because Apple had three more weeks to build inventory for the most recent models.
  • While connecting lead times to demand is more art than science, over the years we’ve noted extending delivery times have historically been a favorable indicator of demand.
  • A cautionary factor in interpreting lead times: we don’t have visibility into iPhone supply.

Early pre-order data points

  • As of noon ET, iPhone 12 Pro Max lead times ranged from 7-17 days depending on color, capacity, and carrier. iPhone 12 Mini (all colors and capacities) has consistently shown the original Nov. 13th delivery date.
  • This compares to three weeks ago at noon ET when we observed iPhone 12 Pro lead times ranged from 7-10 days to 2-3 weeks depending on color, capacity, and carrier. iPhone 12 (all colors and capacities) had consistently shown the original Oct. 23rd delivery date.


  • We remain comfortable with our FY21 iPhone revenue growth estimate of 15% (essentially in line with the Street), compared to about 1% growth in FY20.
  • The most popular iPhone 12 models appear to be the Pro and Pro Max, 128GB Pacific Blue priced at $999 and $1,099 respectively. As a point of reference, this quarter we’re modeling for an overall iPhone ASP of $818, and continue to feel comfortable with that estimate.


We checked lead times for iPhone 12 Mini and Pro Max eight times between 8:00 AM and noon ET. Reflecting on lead times is not a science, given we don’t know how many phones Apple is able to produce. That said, longer lead times have historically been an indicator of healthy demand and shorter lead times an indicator of softer demand.