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Apple enthusiasts may fork over $999 to get a new iPhone X in November — but if shipping dates stretch out to 2018, it could be a problem, one analyst said.
Apple rolled out three new handsets on Tuesday: the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus, and its high-end model, the iPhone X. While the iPhone 8 models begin shipping on Sept. 22, the iPhone X won't be sent out until Nov. 3, Apple said.
While that's not too long to wait for consumers who are entrenched in Apple's software systems, rivals like Samsung's handsets start to look a lot more attractive if they are more easily available before the holiday season, Toni Sacconaghi, senior technology research analyst at Bernstein, told CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report" on Wednesday.
Like fellow industry watcher Gene Munster of Loop Ventures, Sacconaghi said that the delay might shift expectations between how many phones will be sold next spring instead of this winter.
"If you have consumers that place orders in early November, and they can't get a phone until 2018, then I think it matters," Sacconaghi said. "There are other attractive offerings out there. And while ecosystem loyalty is high, if you were hoping to get this great new phone in September, and now you're waiting until 2018, I think you'll get .... switchers."
To be sure, there are no clear signs that would happen. Apple told CNBC on Tuesday that it had built the shipping dates into its forecasts.
The iPhone 7 Plus, especially in jet black, did get a little scarce last year, though. At that time, 17 percent of consumers said they would immediately seek out alternatives during a shortage of their favorite electronics brand, according to a survey of more than 2,000 consumers from supply chain start-up Elementum.
Although Apple's iPhone X certainly amped up existing technology, many of its core elements, like a more vivid screen, are also available on Samsung phones.
Sacconaghi said that while Apple's level of innovation is not at the level of the past five years, it would be "overly critical" to say that Apple is not innovating at all.
"I think if you read reviews, they're unequivocal. The device is highly attractive, the screen is the best screen ever seen ... and ... the phone feels really terrific in one's hands," Sacconaghi said. "I think this will be a significant phone. We've believed for a long time that there's pent-up excitement around it, and that there'll be a significant number of upgraders."