Pre-orders for the new phones opened on Friday, 16 October, with the phones actually going on sale this Friday.
That process has already revealed that the phone is selling twice what its predecessor did in the same period, according to Ming-chi Kuo, an analyst with a strong track record of monitoring Apple’s supply chain.
Far more of those orders are coming for the iPhone 12 Pro than had been expected, he indicated.
“The iPhone 12 Pro pre-order beat our expectation because of Apple core fans’ initial preference for high-end models, the strong demand in the Chinese market, and the coming peak season demand in the US and Europe,” he said, in a research note revealed by Macrumors.
The difference between the normal iPhone 12 and the Pro model is smaller than it was between their predecessors. The Pro model has a different finish, more RAM, an extra camera lens and a LiDAR sensor, but is otherwise very similar to its cheaper sibling.
Mr Kuo also suggested that the iPhone 12 Mini could see less demand than expected. He suggested that there could be weaker demand for such a small phone in the Chinese market.
Overall, pre-orders for the iPhone 12 were more than twice those seen for the iPhone 11, Mr Kuo said. He estimated that some 1.7 to 2 million phones had been sold in the first 24 hours, compared with 500,000 to 800,000 orders of the iPhone 11.
While that is a big increase over the year, some had suggested that the redesign of the phone and the inclusion of 5G could push the phone into a “super-cycle” of many more upgrades than usual, as happened when the iPhone 6 brought new larger displays. That does not yet appear to have happened, he noted, with the first day of demand around half that of the iPhone 6.
Some of those pre-orders may be held back because Apple is only releasing half of the iPhones this week, however. The two more unusual sizes – the iPhone 12 Mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max – will not be released until November.
When all of those models are available, Mr Kuo predicted that the iPhone 12 Mini would represent 10-15 per cent of sales; the iPhone 12 some 30-35 per cent, with the iPhone 12 Pro making up 30-35 per cent and the iPhone 12 Pro Max the remaining 15-20 per cent.