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Read Apple’s excuse for keeping iPhone 7 sales a secret

Apple is always quick to boast about its impressive iPhone sales figures – but 2016 marks a change in tact.

It looks like Apple has scrapped plans to release sales figures for the iPhone 7 launch weekend, leaving us in the dark about the scale of the new phone’s success.

Typically, Apple publishes both pre-order and launch numbers very shortly after the launch of new handsets. For instance, last year saw the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus set a first-weekend sales record of 13 million units. That was up on the 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units sold in their first weekend on sale.

Apple revealed its decision in a statement sent to CNBC. Here’s the statement in full:

“We expect iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be incredibly popular with customers and we are thrilled to begin taking pre-orders on September 9. Customers will receive their new iPhones starting September 16.

In years past, we’ve announced ow many new iPhones had been sold as of the first weekend following launch. But 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.

These initial sales will be governed by supply not demand, we have decided that it is no longer a representative metric for our investors and customers. Therefore we won’t be releasing a first-weekend number any longer. We are reiterating the financial guidance for the September quarter that we provided on July 26.”

iphone 7Apple’s iPhone 7 goes on sale starting September 16, but can be pre-ordered as of September 9

So that’s what Apple says is the reason, but could their be another answer? Well, it’s very possible that Apple doesn’t expect the iPhone 7 to outsell the iPhone 6S, which could be enough to keep the phone-maker mum about sales. There’s also a chance that limited stock – Jet Black, anyone? – means that Apple literally can’t outsell last year’s model too.

Prior to the iPhone 7’s reveal, analysts were firm in their predictions that last year’s first-weekend sales record would remain unbroken. Unfortunately, it seems that we’ll never know the truth of the matter.

Related: iPhone 8

Watch: iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus

What do you think of the new iPhone 7? Let us know in the comments.

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