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Foursquare uses its foot traffic data to predict opening-weekend iPhone sales


Foursquare is tapping into its data of foot traffic for the first time to predict Apple’s iPhone sales as the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus launch this weekend. The company notes that it has “the world’s largest database of information on the foot traffic of people around the globe,” courtesy of its app users that use the app to check-in at locations they visit. 

For its prediction, Foursquare compared its foot traffic data for Apple Stores to Apple’s own data for opening-weekend sales on past launches. It realized that the increase in foot traffic data surrounding iPhone launches aligned nicely with the increase in iPhone sales from past launches and used that model to predict this year’s sales. The model predicts that Apple will sell 13-15 million iPhones:

Combining Foursquare’s foot traffic data with Apple’s sales data on a graph shows how closely the two are linked. Visit growth is clearly a strong general advance indicator for sales performance of the launch weekend… Based on these early indicators, Foursquare predicts that launch day foot traffic will be about 360% of a typical Friday. This likely means that Apple will sell 13–15 million iPhones this weekend, surpassing all previous records.

Foursquare does note in its report that its foot traffic data doesn’t directly take into account preorders, which Apple included in the first weekend sales numbers when reporting in years past.

Compare the prediction of 13-15 million iPhones from Foursquare with market expectations of around 12-13 million units, as noted in a report yesterday from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In the note issued to clients, Kuo described two likely outcomes for opening-weekend sales. In one scenario, KGI predicted sales of 12-13 million units pleasing investors, while in another prediction it had sales of 10-12 million units triggering a “mixed market response.”

Earlier this month, following preorders going live for the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple said it was on pace to beat its opening-weekend sales record of 10 million units.

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  1. ag80911 - 8 years ago

    Interesting a few weeks ago, the market was saying that this was a minor upgrade and they would be happy if they match or even come lower than 10m units – now 10m is just “mixed” – and an insane 12m-15m would then “pleased” them

  2. Robert Dupuy - 8 years ago

    Nobody was saying they would be happy with 10m or lower, and it needs to be 15m or higher. With that said – it may very well exceed 15m.

    • macnificentseven48 - 8 years ago

      Even if it’s 15 million or more it isn’t going to please Wall Street or pundits. They’ll find a way to discredit the numbers by saying one day had more than 24 hours in it. They’ll figure some way to make Tim Cook look like a fool or a liar when he gives the sales numbers. Any other company selling that many high-priced items in one weekend would be golden. With Apple, the news media will try to convince everyone it was just a fluke and no more iPhones will be sold after this weekend. Meanwhile, no one will mention Caterpillar’s sudden demise and massive layoffs but will harp on Apple’s shorter store lines which will somehow indicate poorer sales. The stupidity and hatred never stops for Apple.

    • twelve01 - 8 years ago

      15m huh? A 50% yoy increase. Are you on drugs?


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.