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Latest Survey Suggests Slowing Apple iPhone XR Momentum

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Apr. 11 2019, Published 2:01 p.m. ET

iPhone sales troubles

In the first quarter of fiscal 2019, Apple (AAPL) reported a 14.9% YoY (year-over-year) fall in its iPhone sales. The weakness in the iPhone segment resulted in a 4.5% YoY fall in the company’s total sales in the quarter.

Now, let’s take a look at some news that could point toward Apple’s growing iPhone sales troubles.

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KeyBanc’s latest carrier survey

According to Thomson Reuters, KeyBanc Capital Markets revealed the results of its latest carrier survey on April 11. The survey revealed that the iPhone’s sell-through ratio and inventory had been stable in March 2019.

To add to the pessimism, the survey pointed toward “somewhat tail off” momentum for the iPhone XR in the last two months.

Should investors worry?

In September 2018, Apple announced the iPhone XR along with the more expensive iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. As the least expensive iPhone in Apple’s iPhone X line-up, the iPhone XR quickly gained popularity among consumers.

On November 28, Apple’s vice president of product marketing, Greg Joswiak, told CNET in an interview that the iPhone XR “has been our most popular iPhone each and every day since the day it became available.” Hence, reports of even minor weakness in the iPhone XR’s sales within a few months of its launch could increase Apple’s and its investors’ worries about declining iPhone sales.

In 2019 so far, Apple stock has largely outperformed the broader market (QQQ). As of April 10, AAPL has risen 27.2% year-to-date compared to the 20.0% rise in the NASDAQ Composite Index.

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