Barclays has shared a new analyst note today with an update on iPhone battery availability for replacements. Earlier this month, the firm projected that availability would be continually improving, however, it now looks like the reverse is true.
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Mark Moskowitz and company have followed up on their earlier report on battery replacement wait times for iPhones. Several weeks ago the average wait time was pegged at 2-4.5 weeks, with a forecast for steady improvements. Now, to the firms surprise, the current wait times have gone up to 3-4.5 weeks after another series of calls to Apple Stores. The longest wait of any Apple Store was found to be 9-10 weeks!
Barclays has found that iPhone 6 and 6 Plus battery replacement demand is driving the wait times higher. This in turn leads Barclays to forecast fewer iPhone sales for the year, including decreased sales of new 2018 models. However, the note mentions that the lower priced 2018 6.1-inch model could convince more customers to upgrade.
While the firm notes a bit of surprise on the increased wait times, Barclays says that overall, the customer response to the replacement program is on track with its previous estimates. In January, Moskowitz forecasted that about 50M iPhone users would take advantage of the program out of a total 500M eligible devices.
Barclays rates AAPL neutral with a target price of $170, down about 5% from the $178 price of AAPL shares at the time of this writing.
In related news, 9to5Mac’s Zac Hall recently had to start using an iPhone 6 Plus after his iPhone X took a spill on concrete. Check out his thoughts on living with a performance throttled iPhone running iOS 11.3 here.