Expectations for the iPhone 7 launch have been modest, to put it mildly. Even Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has announced it is breaking with tradition and will not release first-weekend sales numbers for the new iPhone. However, T-Mobile (TMUS) CEO John Legere is offering hope to Apple stock investors, claiming iPhone 7 launch numbers are four times greater than the iPhone 6.
Considering how well T-Mobile did in 2014 with that iPhone 6 launch, Legere’s comment offers the intriguing possibility that Apple might just have an unexpected hit on its hands.
T-Mobile’s Legere Takes to Periscope
Never one to shy away from making his views known, Legere used Periscope last night to talk about the new iPhone 7. During the session, he called iPhone 7 sales phenomenal, declaring:
“The first four days of the iPhone 7 launch are by far the biggest ever for T-Mobile. It’s four times bigger than the iPhone 6 for us, at this stage.”
He also revealed that Matte Black has been the most popular color choice with T-Mobile customers, while admitting that he chose the Jet Black iPhone 7 for himself — despite Apple’s warnings about a finish that is more easily scratched.
Why the iPhone 7 May Exceed Expectations
Going into (and immediately after) the September iPhone 7 event, there was considerable concern that the iPhone 7 would turn out to be a dud.
With AAPL switching to a three-year design cycle, the new iPhone looked almost identical to the previous two generations. There were tantalizing rumors about a massive upgrade next year for the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, including a curved AMOLED display. Then there was the controversial decision to ax the headphone jack.
With Apple pre-announcing it would not be releasing launch numbers, it seemed like the company was also concerned the iPhone 7 would bomb.
So why would T-Mobile be seeing record pre-sales?
- First, the iPhone 7 Plus and its dual camera system have produced some phenomenal photos. Apple made sure to get the new iPhones into the hands of professional photographers, who have been posting photos snapped at pro sports events.
- Second, the new A10 Fusion CPU in the iPhone 7 has been performing exceedingly well in testing. It delivers a serious performance upgrade, along with better battery life. Users will definitely see a difference.
- Third, the water resistance introduced in the new iPhone is something that AAPL fans have been waiting a long time for. The idea of being able to use their phone in the rain instead of having to stuff it in an expensive and bulky waterproof case has a lot of appeal.
- And finally, Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) handed AAPL a gift with the recall of exploding Galaxy Note 7s. The public relations nightmare for Samsung suddenly makes Apple’s more conservative approach to smartphone design look a lot more appealing.
It’s Early for Apple Optimism, But …
T-Mobile claims aside, it’s early yet. And T-Mobile itself has offered incentives to upgrade that could be skewing sales. As pointed out by Digital Trends, the carrier is offering a trade-in deal on older iPhones that could net an iPhone 7 for free on a 24-month contract.
Still, this is positive news. It could just be that after all the fuss about a meaningless release, Apple under-promised and over-delivered with the iPhone 7. That combined with the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco helping to cancel out the negative PR over ditching the headphone jack could result in the iPhone 7 turning into an unexpected win for AAPL.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.