Apple will not announce first-weekend sales of iPhone 7

Apple CEO introducing the new iPhone 7 in San Francisco on Sept 7, 2016.
Apple CEO introducing the new iPhone 7 in San Francisco on Sept 7, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - Apple Inc will not release first-weekend sales of the newly announced iPhone 7, the company said.

The company decided to stop the practice because the number of phones sold during the period has become more a reflection of Apple's supply than demand, a company spokeswoman said, when asked whether Apple will be releasing the figure.

"As we have expanded our distribution through carriers and resellers to hundreds of thousands of locations around the world, we are now at a point where we know before taking the first customer pre-order that we will sell out of iPhone 7,"said Ms Kristin Huguet.

"These initial sales will be governed by supply, not demand, and we have decided that it is no longer a representative metric for our investors and customers."

Apple launched the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus at a San Francisco event on Wednesday. The new phones feature improved cameras and eliminate the traditional headphone jack in favour of new technology. Pre-orders will begin on Friday, and Apple will start shipping the devices on Sept 16.

The stakes for the iPhone 7 are high after sales of the gadget dropped during two straight quarters this year, the first declines in its history.

As they try to assess whether the iPhone has reached a plateau, investors will not be happy about losing a data point, said Mr Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners.

"Less data is never good, particularly given the question marks around this phone," he said.