TLDR: Another report has surfaced that says the new iPhone SE is not selling as well as Apple expected. But it’s not just Cupertino’s disappointing sales; The Google Pixel 6 line is also trying to find buyers, which leads to the company offering big incentives for sellers who sell its phones.
Research firm Wave7 (via PCMag) conducted a survey of salespeople at carrier stores in the United States to get an idea of the current smartphone market. According to the results, 56% of representatives said that demand for the iPhone SE 3 this year is lower than the previous iPhone SE, and only 8% said that demand is higher.
The survey backs up a March report that claimed Apple asked its suppliers to cut production of the 2022 iPhone SE for the quarter by two to three million units, a cut of about 20% due to low demand.
Prominent Apple analyst Ming-Cho Kuo backed the report, tweeting that demand is lower than expected. It also cut its 2022 iPhone SE shipment estimate from 25-30 million to 15-30 million.
The quarantine in Shanghai does not affect the production of the iPhone SE. However, demand for the new iPhone SE is lower than expected (delivery status “in stock” as one of the evidence) and I’ve downgraded my estimate for 2022 shipments to 15-20M (compared to 25-30M before) .
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 28, 2022
While few people need smaller phones these days, another problem may be that few consumers are aware of the iPhone SE. “Wave7 Research is not aware of any television, radio, outdoor or print advertising for the device,” the company wrote. A Verizon spokesperson backed it up, telling the firm that not many people know it’s out.
There are a couple of positives in Apple’s report: The iPhone SE appears to be very popular as a prepaid device, and it looks set to boost Apple’s sales in India, where the company is shifting production to take advantage of tariff discounts while reducing its reliance on China. .
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones are also said to not generate much interest outside of die-hard Pixel fans. Google is reportedly using “spiffs” or commissions on merchants who manage to move its phones. It’s something Samsung also does, but Google has raised incentives “very high” to boost sales. One carrier spokesperson told Wave7 that it sold the new pixels to people who wanted to buy new Galaxy S22 models when the latest Samsung phones sold out.
One thing that might put people off the Google Pixel 6 line is the numerous error messages the phones are facing. The most recent issue is an issue where calls are automatically routed to voicemail without notifying users.