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
Contributor

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.

25 Comments
  • Yes, really looking forward to launch day and my shipment of 4 of the Space Gray 256GB models! Don't know why anyone would think the X wouldn't be really popular.
  • People over-reacting about the notch, and thinking that it will actually put people off buying. Yeah sure it will put some people off, but the majority don't mind it, otherwise Apple wouldn't have done it
  • It will be popular just because there is finally a UI change after 10 years...
    The unibrow though... Laugh everytime I see it...
  • I can relate to Rogers statements about the iPhone's selling well. It was hard to find the specific models where I am located. I wanted a Space Grey 64GB, and my wife wanted the gold 64GB. I got the last one and we had to get hers ordered in. Not sure whether they just didn't carry stock or what....
  • I’m passing on this, the notch and price just kill it for me. I’m struggling to see why this is so revolutionary too. Screen to body ratio is still only 82.35% compared to 65.71% on the 7. So halfway between truly bezel-less and the old model. Not that bezel-less is even a practical idea, guess it looks cool or something. Only compelling feature for me is the OLED screen but not for $1100.
  • "not for $1100" Yes, not everyone can afford the iPhone X. But this is a high-end smartphone, not meant for everyone.
  • The high-end price used to be around 700 or 800, plus they increased the price of the MacBooks as well. I can see why Magus12000 is annoyed, but this is just Apple being Apple, you pay whatever they ask you to pay if you want the newest iPhone
  • Until Apple releases sales figures it's impossible to gauge how popular the iPhone X has been. However now is the time to see how well the iPhone 8 is doing. At launch there was about three people waiting in line at the main London store, compared to well into double figures last year and close to a hundred for the 6S. I'm certain that this was due to folks waiting for the X. However, now that it's unlikely you'll see one before December at the earliest I imagine the 8 models will see an upsurge in sales.
  • I agree with you, a lot of people's patience won't hold and they will decide to go for the iPhone 8 which available now. Because it's likely that the true availability of the iPhone X will be next year.
  • I think the X will be extremely popular, but the supply constraints will be the real issue. It won't be that people don't want to buy the device, just Apple won't have a phone to sell them. X is expected to sell about 20 million units through the rest of 2017, because of limited supply. The 6/6+ sold 13 million units opening weekend in comparison.
  • As a Canadian I’d like to point out that Rogers is a horrible company who will do or say anything if it benefits them. Their statements should not be trusted.
  • Doesn't the same go for most carriers anywhere in the world?
  • Pretty much. I used to be on Three in the UK, back when it was £15 a month for unlimited internet. Then they removed tethering, upped the price, and removed the unlimited data. I rang them up and told them I'm switching and they asked me why, so I told them, and all they could respond with was "these are just changes in business practice", which was pretty much a F**k you from the carrier.
  • Yeah my 6s+ is still kicking but would like something different. Can’t see my self paying another 800$ for basically the same phone I already have. Battery is getting a bit weaker but that’s still only 80$ vs 800$. Wish Apple would have launched a few new redesign iPhones. Guess this is the last year of the 4 year old ip6 look. Just wish that would have been last year.
  • What is your prediction for next year? Triangle, circular, or cube? Sorry, but phones are what they are because the flat rectangle is the most efficient shape, --every single manufacturer's phone is going to look pretty much the same, with the differentiators being the screen, features, eco system, colors, quality, OS, etc. It's like hoping that Apple will have some new exciting design for the Apple Pencil.
  • I'd like something closer to a 4:3 aspect ratio (shorter/wider than a Plus) . Better for photos. Better for keyboards. Better for PDF viewing. Better for calendar apps. (Yes, worse for movies, but I don't care. Neutral for reading/web IMHO.)
  • Please lose that notch next year Apple. Ugh. Why did you do this?
  • Good luck, the notch seems to be part of the key design, I don't think they'll get rid of it next year
  • iPhone X not available for most of us until mid to late December or perhaps next year. It's update will probably be in September of 2018. So all that money for 8 to 9 months of use. I'm enjoying the speed of the iPhone 8, its wireless charging, and a full screen video in landscape view. And that horrible notch! Why aren't people calling out Jony Ive on this terrible front face design?
  • There are many but the faithful are willing to have large critical bezels or lose part of their video or game. It's hilarious how this ridiculous design choice passed the thumbs up in a design-centric company like Apple used to be. Quite possibly the worst design front face in history but people just gobble it up...
  • *virtual bezels
  • The iPhone X is another Apple product thats again only exciting to Apple users because they live under a rock. The price, the notch, no fingerprint scanner, it still has big bezels. Wireless charging and full screen so late 2017. Ouch. Apple isnt finished but they sure arent exciting anymore, at all. iPhone X should have came out years ago lol
  • Don't worry ... all the Android handset makes will try to copy it next year.
  • Have any of you seen the notch it’s almost unnoticeable. By the