Analysis of iPhone 14 pre-order lead times shows exactly what Apple was hoping for

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Investment house Morgan Stanley has a new analyst covering Apple who is named Erik Woodring. After running an analysis of the current lead times, Woodring issued a note to Morgan Stanley’s clients. A lead time measures how long it will take you to receive a product that you’ve ordered from the moment that you placed the order. In this case, the lead times that are being tracked by Woodring are those for all of the new iPhone 14 models, both Pro and non-Pro.

Morgan Stanley’s new Apple analyst reveals that iPhone 14 Pro pre-sales are exactly what Apple expected

The analyst’s note was viewed by AppleInsider and in it, Morgan Stanley’s new Apple analyst notes that the lead time for the iPhone 14 Pro Max in the states is the longest of any Apple product in the last six years (being released at a similar number of days after unveiling). The average lead time for Apple’s most premium iPhone model is 36.5 days. That is a week longer than the 29.5 days lead time for the iPhone 14 Pro, the third longest lead time during the past six years, and equals the lead times for last year’s iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Besides seeing strong demand for the new iPhone 14 Pro line in the world’s third-largest smartphone market, Apple helped break website servers in the top smartphone market globally, China. There, over two million orders for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max were placed in the first 24 hours following the opening of pre-orders for the phones.

Apparently, consumers are listening to those calling out Apple for making only a few changes to the iPhone 14 non-Pro model which becomes the entry-level unit this year with the iPhone mini gone. With a lead time of six days, you can compare the numbers and see the difference. How much can you credit the Dynamic Island for the heavy demand for the Pro models? Apple no doubt placed that little trick up its sleeve and somehow it didn’t leak.
Woodring (you know, Morgan Stanley’s new Apple analyst) didn’t have a lead time for the iPhone 14 Plus which will be the line-up’s battery champion according to Apple. That’s because the non-Pro 6.7-inch model won’t ship until October 7th compared to tomorrow for the three other handsets.

Apple planned on “gently leading” consumers to buy the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro models for obvious reasons

Keep in mind that while lead times are fun to look at (not as much fun to compile), they are based on other factors than just consumer demand. The supply chain plays an important part in a product’s lead time as does the ability to quickly ship products to consumers. In the case of the iPhone 14 line-up, especially the way Apple made the Pro units more desirable than the non-Pro phones, we’d say that the numbers are very much an indication of public demand.

Pre-order the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max

Look, this is no surprise. We’ve been saying time and again that when you put your latest and greatest chip only in the Pro models, put your top cameras in the more expensive units, and even replace the notch only in the pricier phones, you’re going to sell more of the expensive handsets regardless of the higher price. It was a brilliant strategy by Apple and there are many who don’t like it, but that doesn’t make it any less brilliant.

As for Morgan Stanley’s Woodring, well he is a stock analyst after all so he has a $180 target price for Apple’s shares. That was cut after the last earnings report was disseminated in July which he called a “weaker than expected quarter.” Apple’s shares have been trading sideways over the last six months after dropping $1.99 or .99% in the last half-year. The stock is now at $153.58, down $1.75 today.

Over the last 52 weeks, the high has been $182.94 and the low has been $129.04. Woodring is calling for Apple to trade at 29 times earnings, a figure that is currently at 25.37.

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