Lead times for the Apple iPhone SE continue to show strong demand for the phone
Three weeks after launch, the lead time for the iPhone SE in the U.S. and China equals the same 2-to-3 weeks that the Apple iPhone 5s posted three weeks after its launch . The strongest demand based on lead time for an iPhone after three weeks was seen by the Apple iPhone 6 Plus. Apple's first phablet was leaving the factory 3-to-4-weeks after an order was received. Being the first 5.5-inch iPhone surely helped ratchet up demand. After all, the smaller Apple iPhone 6 was shipping in just 7-to-10 days during the same time. The Apple iPhone 6s had a lead time of just 3 to 5 days after two weeks, while the Apple iPhone 6s Plus was at 2 to 3 weeks.
Apple is set to release its fiscal second quarter earnings this Tuesday after the market closes. Because the iPhone SE didn't go on sale until the last day of the quarter, the device will have a very minimal impact on Tuesday's report. It won't be until the Q3 fiscal report when the iPhone SE plays a big part in Apple's numbers for April through June.
We expect Apple to announce lower iPhone sales for the fiscal second quarter, making it the first time in the history of the device that it had lower sales on a year-over-year basis. The magic number is 61.2 million. If Apple reports that iPhone sales for the January-March quarter came in lower than that figure, the product will have had its first down year ever.