** Editor’s note: Our inventory check for the 24th was ~ 10 hours earlier than previous weeks. This should not have a substantial impact on the results. **
As expected, this week showed that most of the backlog should be cleared by early January. What is most surprising is that Verizon has made materially better progress than their two largest wireless peers, with nearly all iPhone 14 Pro and many iPhone 14 Pro Max color/ storage combinations available now.
How Verizon is achieving this in-stock mastery is anyone’s guess. Are they pulling inventory from stores? Highly unlikely. Are they paying extra for faster delivery from China? Perhaps. Will there be a cost for immediate availability? Yes, and will undoubtedly be amortized.
When Verizon has most iPhone 14 Pro models available, and it’s 2-3 weeks for other sources (including Apple’s own website), there has to be a cost. This is a play out of the 2000s AT&T playbook (buy your way to first in line, although in the case of AT&T Wireless, it was outright Motorola and Apple exclusivity).
As for Apple, it’s going to be close. Many devices will be shipped to carriers next week, and how many Apple accounts for in their quarter end results remains to be seen. This has been a much slower launch than most anticipated, but the impacts of the supply chain slowdown appear to have been overstated.
More to come in the first Brief of 2023 (hopefully the last report of this iPhone cycle). Full charts below.