- Focus on carriers after Apple goes mum on early sales numbers
- Apple needs iPhone 7 to end two quarters of sales declines
All of the major U.S. wireless carriers, except No. 1, Verizon Communications Inc., say preorders for the iPhone 7 have been higher in volume than previous models, helping to fan speculation that Apple Inc.’s new product is off to a faster start than usual.
AT&T Inc. was the last of the big four carriers to weigh in. The company is seeing iPhone 7 order volume that is above year-earlier levels, which is “better-than-expected,” Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said during an investor conference Wednesday.
His comments came less than an hour after Verizon Executive Vice President Marni Walden told the same conference that iPhone upgrade rates were more “business as usual.”
On Tuesday, T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. said they’d received four times as many orders for the iPhone 7 as previous models. Walden said that wasn’t a surprise given that both of those companies are working from a smaller base of iPhone customers. The number of orders at Verizon, with a much larger base, is less dramatic, she said.
Investors are watching closely for signs of early enthusiasm for the iPhone 7 after two quarters of declining sales for Apple’s flagship device. Apple has said it won’t disclose weekend sales number for the first time. The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be available in stores on Friday.
Apple shares rose 3.6 percent to $111.83 at the close in New York.