In an investor call discussing the company’s fourth quarter earnings, TechCrunch reported Cook was asked by an investor whether or not supply/demand for the iPhone would be "at equilibrium" by the end of this quarter.
Cook responded that it was “hard to say”, going on to add that he believes the company will manage to meet demand for the iPhone 7, but where the 7 Plus is concerned he’s “not sure.”
According to Cook this is because “the underlying demand looks extremely strong on both products but particularly on the iPhone 7 Plus vs our forecast going into the product launch.”
The holiday season is an important time for Apple in terms of sales as it's the time of year consumers are more inclined towards making premium purchases. If Apple isn’t able to provide the products shoppers want at that time, that’s money lost.
It’s possible, though not certain, that the demand for the 7 Plus has surged to unexpected highs as a result of the recent Samsung Galaxy Note 7 crisis. Consumers who had purchased a Note 7, or were considering it, are now having to look for an alternative and the 7 Plus might just prove to be a popular choice.
“It’s very hard to gauge demand when you’re selling everything you’re making, so we’ll find out more through the quarter but we’re confident enough to give you guys guidance that we’re returning to growth this quarter, which obviously feels very good for us,” Cook said.
iPhone sales have been declining year-on-year recently. This is in part being attributed to a saturated smartphone market that’s filled with iPhone lookalikes being offered at lower prices. It’s important that Apple seize on this opportunity to increase its sales.
Of course, it’s not exactly easy to increase production rates overnight so if you go to purchase an iPhone 7 Plus this holiday season you might find you encounter significant shipping delays. Best to start your shopping in advance.