A new report by Digitimes says that, contrary to public opinion, the iPhone 6 Plus is receiving more orders after beating initial demand expectations. The report says 60% of iPhone production is iPhone 6 Plus units, which may be interpreted as the iPhone 6 Plus being the more popular model. It also says that Foxconn is responsible for iPhone 6 Plus supply, whereas Pegatron is taking up iPhone 6 output.
However, Digitimes doesn’t have the best track record and this information sort of defies other evidence. Firstly, it is important to note that production does not correlate proportionally to demand. It was well publicised that the iPhone 6 Plus was supply-constrained in the runup to release. The burst of iPhone 6 Plus production now may simply be restoring the balance, clearing the backlog of orders.
Moreover, web analytics clearly show that the iPhone 6 is the much more popular device. As shown above, Mixpanel says that the iPhone 6 currently represents 5% of total iPhone usage on the web. Although the share of 6 Plus has been climbing, it remains below 1.2%. With both models of the iPhone consistently out of stock, usage should roughly equal the phone production ratios. Something doesn’t add up.
On price theory alone, it is likely that the iPhone 6 will remain the more popular model, as it is more accessible to more people. That being said, there is a third explanation for the dominance of the iPhone 6 Plus. Later this month, Apple will release the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China. Apple may have found that this market finds the larger 5.5 inch device more appealing and is readjusting production to meet pent-up demand for the Chinese launch, which has already attracted 2 million phone reservations.
Although not impossible, it would be very surprising to expect the Plus to continue to represent 60% of total iPhone 6 production. Tim Cook has previously said to not trust supply reports from just one study. This feels like one of these instances.
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