iPhone X: Tremendous excitement, off-the-charts demand

I stayed up until 3 a.m. ET to preorder iPhone X, Apple's next-generation ultra-mobile, ultra-portable computing platform. I got in just as the Apple Store app spun back up and was able to secure an in-store pickup for launch day, November 3. Less than an hour later, shipping was already pushed out to 3-4 weeks. Less than two hours later, 5-6 weeks.

Demand was high, which isn't surprising given how much technology Apple is packing into iPhone X, including an edge-to-edge OLED display and TrueDepth camera system with Face ID, portrait mode selfies, face tracking for AR, and Animoji. And given just how hard it is to produce some of that technology at iPhone scale.

Absent numbers from Apple, it's impossible to gauge just how well iPhone X preorders went but there are a couple indicators we can look at.

Canadian carrier Rogers, as reported by Axios:

"We're seeing tremendous customer excitement for iPhone X with strong customer pre-orders," Executive VP Raj Doshi, said in a statement to Axios. "We're also seeing good demand for the iPhone 8. We expect the two together will be very popular with our customers this holiday season with iPhone 8 being a major contributor."

This also corrects Rogers' previous — and somewhat bizarre — comment that iPhone 8 demand had been "anemic". That wasn't something we'd heard from any other source, retail or otherwise.

Because Apple was launching two flagship iPhones at the same time, an unprecedented move by the company, it made predictions unusually difficult. iPhone 8 had a head start, slightly lower price point, and familiarity going for it. iPhone X, an all-new design and additional, cutting-edge features.

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Based on social polling, though, iPhone X was capturing significant interest. Results at the time of publication:

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Customers also seem to be gravitating towards the highest end, largest capacity models of iPhone X as well. Results at the time of publication:

Apple shared the following:

We are thrilled to be taking orders for iPhone X, the future of the smartphone. We can see from the initial response, customer demand is off the charts. We're working hard to get this revolutionary new product into the hands of every customer who wants one, as quickly as possible. We will keep accepting orders online, and iPhone X will be available at Apple retail stores on Friday, November 3 starting at 8 a.m., as well as from our carrier and retailer partners around the world."

Come November 3, I fully expect to see old-school iPhone lineups return to Apple Retail as well. I'll be there for my in-store pickup, but I think a lot of people will be there even earlier in hopes of scoring an iPhone X the moment the doors open.

For years now, Apple has sold every iPhone the company was capable of manufacturing at launch — and for months thereafter. iPhone X is suspected to be in shorter than typical supply but, even at a higher price point, demand doesn't seem to be slowing down.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.