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Apple Might Have an iPhone 8 Sales Problem

The new iPhone 8, iPhone X and iPhone 8S are displayed during an Apple special event. Photo credit: Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The iPhone 8’s opening weekend didn’t go nearly as well as Apple might have liked, based on new data.

By the end of its first weekend on store shelves, Apple’s AAPL iPhone 8 could only muster a 0.3% international market share across all iOS-based devices, according to new data from researcher Localytics. Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus was able to capture 0.4% of the iOS market, the company’s data shows.

According to Localytics, which has been analyzing iPhone adoption rates each year, the iPhone 8 is far behind the iPhone 7 after its first weekend, when last year’s Apple handset captured 1% share of the marketplace. The iPhone 6, which was released in 2015, nabbed 2% iOS market share during its first weekend, according to Localytics.

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The only bright spot so far this year for Apple is with its iPhone 8 Plus, which at 0.4% market share, topped early performance for the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 6 Plus, which attracted 0.2% and 0.3% market share, respectively.

Apple released its iPhone 8 line on Friday. The device comes with several upgrades over last year’s iPhone 7 models, including improved performance with its A11 Bionic processor. It also has a new glass finish and is the first iPhone to support wireless charging.

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There had been hints that iPhone 8 demand was lower than previous models earlier this month, when the company started offering pre-orders on the iPhone 8. Days after pre-orders were offered, some iPhone 8 models were still available. In years past, whenever Apple has offered new iPhones on pre-order, they sell out of their initial stock in minutes.

Most industry watchers say Apple’s problems aren’t necessarily a big concern for the company. Competitors aren’t stealing iPhone customers, those pundits say, the iPhone X is.

Announced alongside the iPhone 8, Apple’s iPhone X is a major upgrade over previous handsets. The iPhone X comes with a screen that nearly entirely covers its face, and supports a new facial-scanning technology Apple is calling Face ID. It also comes with many of the features users would find in the iPhone 8, including wireless charging and the A11 Bionic chip. And although its starting price is $999, customers don’t seem all that concerned, further bolstering Apple CEO Tim Cook’s contention that the iPhone X offers a good “value” for the price.

Still, the iPhone 8 could prove critical to Apple’s business, and if iPhone X supply is indeed low, as reports have suggested, Apple might be waiting a considerable time to collect on the widespread demand.

For its part, Apple hasn’t announced actual sales data. Localytics’ data is based on an analysis of 70 million iOS devices in use around the world.

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