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iPhone 15 demand beats expectations, as fans worldwide line up to buy

If you're looking to get your hands on an iPhone 15, you'll likely have to take a number.

The iPhone 15 hit store shelves worldwide on Friday, drawing large lines at Apple stores in the U.S., China and Europe. The large crowds highlight the strong demand for Apple's latest smartphone, despite its heftier price tag: The basic iPhone 15 selling for $800, the iPhone 15 Plus for $900 and the iPhone 15 Pro for $1,000.

Part of that demand comes from iPhone consumers finally ready to trade in far older devices for something new, Wedbush Securities analysts Daniel Ives, John Katsingris, Steven Wahrhaftig said in a note on Friday.

"Taking a step back, it's all about the pent-up demand," the analysts said. "We estimate 250 million iPhones have not upgraded in 4+ years, massive carrier discounts, and the camera technology/chips in iPhone 15 Pro/Max catalyzing consumers to upgrade."

The iPhone 15 has so far has secured between 10% and 12% more pre-orders than the iPhone 14, far exceeding expectations, the analysts said. Demand is especially strong for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, with the latter model attracting a large number of orders from the U.S., China, India and parts of Europe.

CEO Tim Cook greets customers purchasing Apple's new iPhone 15 during a launch event at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City on Friday. Pre-orders for the iPhone 15, have far exceeded expectations, Wedbush analysts said. / Credit: ALEXI ROSENFELD / Getty Images
CEO Tim Cook greets customers purchasing Apple's new iPhone 15 during a launch event at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City on Friday. Pre-orders for the iPhone 15, have far exceeded expectations, Wedbush analysts said. / Credit: ALEXI ROSENFELD / Getty Images

In New York City, Apple CEO Tim Cook greeted customers purchasing Apple's new iPhone 15 during a launch event Friday at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store.

That popularity has slowed the completion of pre-order shipments and deliveries for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, which are now expected to be sent to customers by mid November, according to Wedbush analysts. That's at least two weeks later than previously anticipated.

Consumer frenzy over the latest iPhone wasn't the only thing that had people crowding around Apple's stores on Friday, however.

In Paris, roughly 40 Apple workers gathered in front of the company's French flagship store on Friday in heavy rain to demand higher pay. They were joined by more than 2,000 Apple employees across France who are engaging in a strike against the smartphone maker.

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