iPhone 7 Plus may be outselling its smaller sibling

Pre-orders in the U.S. flip toward larger model for the first time, according to one research firm.

iphone7plus silver
Credit: Apple

Preliminary data from U.S. sales of Apple’s newest iPhones suggested that the larger 7 Plus was outselling the smaller 7, which would be a first, a market research firm said today.

Of the iPhone 7 online preorders tracked by Slice Intelligence during the initial 48 hours of availability, 55 percent were for the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. The remaining 45 percent were for the 4.7-inch iPhone 7. That was the first-ever flip to the Plus size in the three annual cycles since Apple offered a big-screen iPhone in 2014.

According to Slice, U.S. buyers of the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus two years ago leaned toward the smaller and cheaper model, in a split of 65 percent to 35 percent. The gap narrowed last year with the 6S and 6S Plus, when the smaller iPhone 6S accounted for 59 percent of the total, and the 6S Plus with 41 percent.

buyers of regular vs. plus chart Slice Intelligence

Preorders for the iPhone 7 Plus outpaced those for the iPhone 7 by a range of 55 percent to 45 percent, says a research firm that tallies U.S. consumers’ emailed receipts. 

Keep in mind that this data isn’t comprehensive: Slice based its data on a sampling of approximately 4 million U.S. consumers. Those people have opted in to Slice’s services or apps—including the same-named shopper’s assistant app for iOS and Android—or those of partners which license the firm’s technology, and so give Slice access to their email inboxes. Slice sniffs through the inboxes, then spots and copies emailed receipts for online orders.

Apple does not disclose the sales splits between iPhone models—or the various versions of its other hardware for that matter—but instead tallies all iPhones into a single number for each quarter.

Slice’s data hinted at a larger gross revenue number for Apple in the U.S. this launch cycle: The iPhone 7 Plus sells for $120 more than the iPhone 7.

Not surprisingly, Slice’s email receipts also showed that the iPhone’s new Black and Jet Black colors were the two most popular for preorder customers, replacing the now-extinct Space Gray, which had been the top choice for the last two years. Nearly half of all iPhone 7 and 7 Plus orders (46 percent to be exact) were for the Black phone, said Slice, with another 23 percent were for the Jet Black.

Jet Black, a new highly polished finish, has been in short supply, high demand, or both: Apple ran out of that color almost as soon as preorders opened on Sept. 9. Currently, a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus will ship to U.S. buyers sometime in November, according to Apple’s estimates, while a Jet Black iPhone 7 will ship three to five weeks after ordering.

This story, "iPhone 7 Plus may be outselling its smaller sibling" was originally published by Computerworld.

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