Apple iPhone 6s Sales May Beat 2014 Record, But Questions Remain

While Apple today announced record pre-orders for the just-introduced iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, some industry watchers are questioning those reports and the value the new phones provide. In fact, some analysts are suggesting that the 16GB version is a relative waste of money, at least compared to the pricier 64GB model.

First, let's take a look at the numbers. Apple reported today that it is on pace to beat last year's 10 million unit first-weekend record when the new iPhones go on sale September 25.

Those numbers are impressive, but it is important to note that a big part of the projection is based on strong pre-orders from China. At least one industry report about sales in China indicates the back-order status of the big-screen iPhone 6s Plus is running at three to four weeks, and two to three weeks for the iPhone 6s.

Some analysts are saying the response in China is an indicator of a hot product, while others doubt that sales in China are a good predictor of interest in the U.S. and other markets.

Portent for Sales?

We reached out to Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, who told us China is an important part of pre-sale efforts with a product like the iPhone.

"The iPhone launch in China last year was delayed by regulators, so that's a big difference year-on-year," said Dawson. "But sales early on are still constrained by the sheer logistical challenge of churning out tens of millions of iPhones that are announced publicly for the first time just days before pre-orders start. As such, I think the sales figures are best seen in the context of a longer period of sales."

Waste of Money?

In terms of value, industry watchers are noting that the entry-level 16GB iPhone 6s is not nearly as good a value as...

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